What is meant by ‘looked after children’?
Looked after children include children in foster or kinship care, those living in residential homes, or those still living with their parents but subject to a Care Order. It also includes children who are temporarily looked after for respite on a planned basis. Just under two thirds of looked after children come into care following child protection concerns such as neglect or abuse. The more commonly used term now is care experienced children.
How do I refer a child to Fostering Compassion?
We accept referrals from Local Authorities, other third sector organisations and self referrals. Simply contact us at team@fosteringcompassion.org and we can give you further details on the referral process.
I have two foster children I would like to refer to Fostering Compassion but I also have a birth child too. Will he be left out?
No – we would never split up a family or leave out a birth child. Simply let us know their details when you are making the referral.
Can my child’s birth parent join us at the event?
We can only accept adults accompanying the child who have been approved by the Social Services department. This may indeed include a birth parent – please simply talk to us about this when referring your child.
My child can be quite disruptive – what happens if they start to play up during the activity?
We do want all families to feel relaxed during our activities and appreciate that some of the children may have challenging behaviour. However, if your child is being disruptive to the extent that it is spoiling the activity for the other children, please feel free to step outside the room for a while to take a little ‘time out.’
I am worried by my child’s behaviour towards our family pet but he is my birth child. Can he still join your programme?
Yes, we welcome all referrals and aim to help as many children as we can who are showing worrying behaviour towards animals or who are struggling with compassion and empathy in general.
What is the difference between AAA, AAI and AAT?
AAA stands for Animals Assisted Activities, AAI for Animal Assisted Intervention, and AAT for Animal Assisted Therapy. Please refer to pages 5 and 6 of IAHAIO White Paper under our Codes of Practice section for more detailed explanation.
How can I get involved with Fostering Compassion as a Volunteer?
We’ve got many opportunities for volunteers so please visit the Support Us section of the website for further details.
Do I need to bring food and drink for my child?
During our two-hour workshops we provide light refreshments, but for our day out trips we advise you to bring a picnic. We get you to complete an In Case of Emergency form prior to joining, so you can notify us of any allergies.
Are animals present at every workshop?
We aim to have animals present at all of our workshops as they are such a highlight for the children. The only thing that could affect this may be the availability of therapets in the area. If our workshop is themed around wild animals, the interaction obviously takes place in the form of education and observation.
My children and I are attending your workshops this year. Can we bring our family dog?
We ask that you don’t bring your own pets. The reason for this is that the Therapy Animals we work with have undergone special training to work with children and are used to working together in a group.
I volunteer for Fostering Compassion – can I bring my own dog to help at workshops?
We’re afraid not. The animals that join us during our workshops are specially trained and insured to work with our children and families, and have been temperament tested for suitability. It’s not fair to bring a dog into a high energy environment when they may not be used to it.