We are PICS – which stands for Partnerships in Children’s Services and children are at the heart of everything we do.
We are a family of independent fostering agencies, all with our own individual areas of local expertise, but with one shared vision. We want to give children across the country who’ve had a difficult start in life, the support they need to build themselves a stronger and happier future. For our Foster carers, we provide a close network of support that becomes like a second family.
You’ll never feel on your own with PICS. All of our agencies make sure you’re linked in to a big local network and of course, you’ll have the support of your foster advisor and allocated social worker, who will visit and call you regularly.
Our out of hours helpline can also be accessed 24/7 and our local office will be a real home from home, where you can pop in whenever you like for advice, information or simply a coffee!
Just as importantly, you’ll be connected to other foster carers. Whether they’re experienced fosterers who can offer you lots of advice and tips, or others who are taking on their first placement, you’ll get lots of support – both emotional and practical – as will your wider family.
We also arrange regular events where the whole family can come along and will always be guaranteed a warm welcome. These events give children and adults access to plenty of support plus the opportunity to make new friends with other young people in fostering families. This network also means that we have plenty of other carers you can trust to take good care of your foster children during your 22 days annual respite leave.
As a family of independent agencies, we’re real specialists in fostering – it is our passion and all we do. This means we have the resources, time and expertise to make sure you get the bespoke training that suits you.
As well as the practical, hands-on induction courses we offer you and your family, as a new foster carer, you’ll also receive further key training modules for up to two years after your first placement arrives. In addition to this, those that wish to, can go on to undertake specialist courses to develop the skills needed to take care of children with specific issues from autism to foetal alcohol syndrome.
All our training is practical, accessible and down to earth. It does not involve any formal academic study or written exams. From individual e-learning through to interactive workshops, we make it really easy for you to gain all of the knowledge and information you need to be a successful foster carer.
At PICS, we’re really proud of the exceptional work of all of our agencies. From our impressive Ofsted reports (often rated ‘outstanding’) to the many positive comments we receive from local authority partners about the way we help children to turn their lives around, we’re confident that we are consistently providing the highest levels of care.
We have excellent relationships with the local authorities we work with. Because of the high standards we achieve with our children, we also have a good success rate when it comes to tendering to work with new authorities. This means we’ll always be in a good place to offer you placements, as and when you want them.
With our dedicated assessment team and experienced panels, our assessment process can take as little as three months, or as long as six. We pride ourselves on giving you all the support you need to make this process as quick as possible.
To discover more about PICS family members click on the links below.