COVID-19 Guidance from WillisPalmer

Whilst the outbreak of Covid-19 is likely to cause some disruption to WillisPalmer services in the short-term, we are issuing guidance outlining our plans to minimise the impact of the virus.

Read more
Make an Enquiry

She's our foster baby!

If you’re a baby, you should be aware that being seen out on your own with a proud looking man in his fifties will raise eyebrows. Grandparents with babies generally come in pairs, although female-only elder companionship is also common when parents are busy working.
Friends of the man in question will often do a double take, particularly if the man is known to already have children in their twenties, and a wife.
My approach is to calm people’s nerves / suspicions by announcing: “She’s our foster baby.”
Not the product of an affair then, or a sudden grandchild, but a temporary baby in the family. And just as cute, cuddly (and quite often, smelly) as our genetically-linked offspring of the 1990s.

Foster dad with baby, picture by Daisy
When our first set of kids were growing up it was still quite unusual for dads to take care of their children, to the extent that our local newspaper ran a feature on the subject.
Not quite so much nowadays, but I still get a few shaking heads after I’ve dropped toys, blankets, nappies, vomit etc. on a bus, or when I run out of tissues when discussing politics in a cafe with friends and a snotty nine month old.
Somehow, having that quarter century break puts baby caring into perspective, as I’m sure grandparents know.
You’re a bit more relaxed about things, and can enjoy the experience of nurturing a ‘small human’ (as our son calls her) without the allied sense of panic.
When we signed up to look after 0–2 year olds on Sheffield Council’s fostering service a year and a half ago, we kind of anticipated the broken nights, the bodily effusions, the washing chaos, but maybe weren’t quite expecting how privileged you feel to be a foster carer.
So far we’ve looked after two highly contrasting small humans. We’re very much still learning, and I’m aiming to share our experiences in case you’ve been thinking about fostering yourself, or just want to hear what it’s like.
In the meantime, if you do see a smiling fifty-something bloke with a pram, think again, he could well be a foster carer. Or George Clooney.
Find out more about fostering with Sheffield here

Knowledge & Resources

Keep abreast of the latest news in the children's services sector.

£7m funding for charities supporting children affected by COVID-19 and lockdown measures

Vulnerable children and families affected by COVID-19 and the measures put in place to stop its spread will benefit from support offered by a coalition of charities under a new ‘See, Hear, Respond’ Department for Education programme.

The government has provided £7m of funding to launch the service which will be led by the charity Barnardo’s [...]

Read Full Story

Are you a foodie or a fitness fanatic? The groups emerging during lockdown

While it is inevitable that most of us have probably endured our fair share of wobbles during lockdown, given the fact we have never experienced anything like this before, people have naturally had to adapt their mindsets to navigate their way through social isolation.

I’ve noticed a number of ‘groups’ emerging.

The fitness fanatics

Walking, jogging, running – [...]

Read Full Story

Blog: Abuse during lockdown

WillisPalmer Chief Executive Mark Willis says all professionals working with children need to be ultra vigilant in looking for signs of abuse as we ease out of lockdown.

Children’s services professionals need to be vigilant for signs of emotional, physical and sexual abuse in young people as children return to primary school following lockdown, the chief [...]

Read Full Story
Children First is an online resource for professionals working with children presented by WillisPalmer, providing you with the latest news, features and interviews.
Subscribe Today
Delivering a diverse, reliable range of services to children and their families across the UK
D1, Parkside, Knowledge Gateway, Nesfield Road, Colchester, Essex CO4 3ZL
CONTACT US
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram