New Name and look
On 1st November 2019, we changed the name of our company from Regional Foster Placements to Regional Foster Families.
The reason behind this change is that so much feedback has been received from young people around the language used for children in care and the term “placement” has negative connotations and can sometimes be used to refer to actual children rather than the foster home. This news item from BBC Ireland pinpointed this use of language, which explains further:
We believe the new name reflects our ethos of being family focused and having these values at the heart of what we do.
It was a natural next step to couple the renaming with a brand new look. We worked directly with a company called Skeleton, together putting a lot a thought in throughout the process to bring our ideas to fruition.
It was really important to us to retain our beloved elephant mascots, but we did want to give them a make over…
Who are the elephants?
As well as their makeover, we also wanted to find out who the elephants were, what were they called and more about them. So we asked the children and young people living in foster families.
The children and young people gave us so many wonderful ideals, we had to ask the Skeleton team to decide for us…
Nellie is a grown up elephant who used to live in a foster home for elephants when she was little. She was often sad and lonely and on her own with no one to play with, so now all grown up her special skill is to befriend other little elephants and help them find their smile.
Our judges; Skeleton said: Nellie’s story is lovely – she knows how it feels to be in a foster home, and now she’s an adult she wants to help other elephants. I think many children who grow up in foster care, or have fostering around them in their family, want to help out with fostering when they are older.
Nellie was brought to life by Nicol.
Sadly, Freddie’s parents weren’t able to look after him, and Roger was asked if he could care for him instead until he is an adult and able to look after himself. He loves to play football and tease his foster sister, Frances. Freddie is full of mischief and despite being autistic, he’s very good at maths and loves to do sums, although he does have difficulty reading. He’s very caring and will help anyone.
They Judges; Skeleton said: Freddie’s story is so sweet. Including an elephant who is autistic is a really lovely idea and his personality and story is well thought out.
Freddie was brought to life by John.
Mellow is happy and relaxed being cared for. Mellow likes to sleep, splash water and roll around. Mellow has a special skill which is reaching deep into the water with his long trunk to get a drink. Mellow’s mum was too poorly to care for Mellow so a new elephant had to give Mellow love and care.
Skeleton said: Mellow’s story touches on a sad story that is common for children in foster care, and then makes it into a nice positive story.
Mellow was brought to life by Samuel.
For the naming of the elephants, Samuel, John and Nicol received Nintendo Switch games consoles with creative Labo packs. Runner up prizes were also given and all the children taking part received a gift from us.
On the 2nd of November we held celebratory events for each of the “regions”, which including food and entertainment for all the families and our colleagues.