The CEO’s letter
As autumn approaches once again it’s time to reflect, take stock and plan for the coming year. 2017 has proved to be yet another challenging year for the Trust. As a management team we meet each October to plan for the coming year, planning recruitment, predicting budgets and preparing for forthcoming placements. Of course this is often a ‘best guess’ scenario. There are so many variables involved and trying to foresee the impact of all of them is nigh on impossible. With the ever changing demands of our local authority partners, the requirement to place children locally, the austerity cuts, the highly competitive market place we now operate in combined with the ever changing demands of our regulators predicting anything going forwards is a work in progress and an ever changing one at that!
However we should never forget how incredibly challenging life continues to be for children and young people coming into care. Very recently the BBC reported that 90 children come into care each day and the latest figures show that 32,810 children were taken into care in the past year with a total of 72,670 in care -up by 3% on last year. This is the biggest rise in 7 years with children’s services facing a £2bn a year funding gap by 2020. As such our work of finding and recruiting the very best Foster Carers and staff to care for and support these children continues.
The process of recruiting outstanding Foster Carers becomes ever more challenging and without doubt one that constantly needs revisiting. With this in mind we decided that we needed a rebrand this year in order to try and attract potential applicants to the Trust and highlight our charitable status. We launched our new logo etc. at the end of July and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. My thanks to Jess Harper and Shelley Candlin who both worked extremely hard on the whole rebranding exercise, carrying out market research and working closely with various agencies to achieve a great outcome, well done both!
Each year the Trust carry out a ‘Continuous Improvement Survey’ which is an online survey sent out to all of our stakeholders. For the past 3 years we have kept the questions throughout the survey the same which has provided us with an opportunity to compare, contrast and analyze. The 2017 survey has been completed this month and I’m pleased to say the results are very positive indeed. In terms of what staff and Carers appreciate about working for CFT I thought I would take this opportunity to share a few of the comments we have receive: ‘Working for a not for profit, ethical, Children’s Charity, who has an outstanding reputation’. ‘The Trust is a charity who always puts the needs and welfare of the children first’. ‘The whole ethos of the Trust and in particular the friendly welcoming team’. ‘The strong focus on the children, the dedication to the children’s wellbeing and the ability to be creative within the role to deliver support to the children and Carers’. ‘Outcomes for children within the Trust are excellent’.
Receiving such positive affirmation regarding the work and focus of the Trust is both energizing and inspiring. Our aims and objectives for 2018 will be about continuing to do more ‘of the same’. Continuing to provide the very best possible placements for children with outstanding Carers who are supported by very skilled and committed staff. None of this will be easy, straightforward or measurable in most cases. However, the articles, photographs and achievements of our children, wonderful Carers and staff dotted throughout this edition of CFT Times is all the evidence needed, enjoy!
I look forward to catching up with as many of you as possible over the next few months, meanwhile, take care, and thank you to all for your continued hard work and commitment,
my warmest wishes,