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Issue:- 19 May 2009 / 20 May 2009

Happy homes needed in Liverpool

LIVERPOOL City Council is stepping up its campaign to build better futures for young people. 

The council is marking Foster Care Fortnight 2009, that started on 11 May and runs until to 24 May 2009, by holding a special event aimed at recruiting scores of new foster carers.  The ‘Fostering Information Day’ at St John’s Beacon on Houghton Street in the city centre on Wednesday 20 May will give people the chance to speak to local foster carers and hear first hand about their experiences.  They will also get to meet the council’s children’s services team and find out everything there is to know about fostering.

Executive member for health, care and safeguarding, Councillor Ron Gould, said:- “Foster Care Fortnight gives us the perfect opportunity to raise awareness about the difference a good foster home can make to a young person.  Fostering is anything but easy - it takes real patience, dedication and stamina. But if you can offer a welcoming home and a family life to a child who cannot live with their own parents, you’ll find it won't just be their life you change for the better, but your own as well.”

There are currently 320 foster carers in Liverpool, but many more are needed.  The council has more than 600 children in foster placements at any one time, aged from 2 to 18 years.  Foster carers are needed for children of all backgrounds in Liverpool, but there is a particular need for people to look after boys aged 5 to 12, brothers and sisters and ethnic minority youngsters.

The fostering information day takes place at Radio City Tower, St John’s Beacon, Houghton Street on Wednesday, 20 May 2009, from 10am to 5.30pm.


• You don’t have to be married to become a foster carer

• Single people are eligible

• There is no upper age limit – but you do have to be over 21 and in good health

• Every foster home is given financial assistance to purchase a personal computer

• Assistance with transport may be available for foster carers with several children

• You will receive a realistic financial allowance that meets the additional cost of the child to your home

• Trained family support workers and supervising social workers will give you dedicated support with full advice and guidance


BLINKERED bosses fail to recognise the symptoms and stamp out intimidation. Bullying is becoming more widespread in the workplace as a direct result of the recession. 

Bosses need to be more vigilant to prevent serious problems in the future. This is the warning from Jane Farrell, CEO of Equality Works, the UK’s leading provider of equality and diversity consultancy, training and advice. 

“Many people think of bullying as simply meaning verbal or sometimes physical abuse.  However, in today’s business climate of concern, informal comments or changes in attitude can lead to feelings of being under threat and victimisation.  Recession and redundancies are currently a hard fact of life but that is no excuse for not handling the situation with compassion and sensitivity.” says Farrell.

Equality Works’ clients include the BBC, Transport for London and Barnardo’s.

Examples of bullying:-

* Derogatory comments being made in an open-plan office about people's performance

* So called 'jokes' being made that have the effect of undermining confidence

* People getting more competitive with each other and collaborating less and less

* Managers shouting at staff

* Continual drawing attention to 'difference' such as 'part timers not pulling their weight'.

What companies should do:-

* Make the standards clear about what is and is not acceptable - tough things can still be said but everyone should be clear how to say them

* Staff need to be trained so that they understand that jokes about disabled people, women, lesbians and gay men or ethnic minorities, are unacceptable even if no offence is intended

* Training shouldn’t be critical of people but should create understanding

* As part of the induction process for all staff, the rules need to be explicit so company policy on the complete unacceptability of shouting or swearing for example is clear.

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