Why Fostering In London Matters To Us
Welcome to Synergy Fostering, one of the most supportive independent fostering agencies in London. We are passionate about helping people foster and developing the value they bring to children who cannot be with their own parents. Providing exceptional support, development and training that is delivered with care and positivity, we help carers and their families feel confident to provide safe, secure homes for foster children. A family focused independent fostering agency in London for over 16 years, rated as “Good” by Ofsted throughout.
We are inspired by the story of the starfish on a beach. Click here to find out why.
How Can We Help You Foster In London?
How To Foster a Child ?
Find out how our recruitment process works to develop your skills ready for your first placement
Can I Foster?
Find out if you could look after children in need and whether you would like to join the most supportive fostering agency London has to offer.
Why Choose Us?
Find out what makes us different from the other independent fostering agencies London has to offer?
Ofsted ReviewFind out about our Ofsted review and highlights from our latest report in Feb 2016
Our PeopleFind out about the great people who foster with us and staff who support their work with us.
Find out more about the kind of children we have cared for and how they get on here?
Find answers to questions about fostering recruitment and development
Statement Of Purpose
Find out what we do, the values we hold to and how we care for children.
LeadersFind out about the two Social Workers, friends for 20 years, who own and run Synergy
Our Dedicated Leadership
We are led by Gurmeet Sodhi and Shobha Harris, two social workers who have been friends for twenty years and still enjoy improving the lives of children in care through fostering.
Recruitment & Placement Officer
“Enabling caring people to become foster carers is rewarding for me. Matching sometimes vulnerable children with the right family and seeing them flourish is what I love most about the work I do. “
“Keeping all the foster carers and staff informed and answering their questions lets them spend more time caring for children. Thats what they do best. And helping everyone is what I do best!”
Development Social Worker
Helping foster carers and potential foster carers find their strengths and helping them to put them to good use caring for the complexities of children in fostering gives me real satisfaction. I thrive on the growing confidence of carers and the effect that has on children.
“Maintaining stable and caring foster families allows young people in care to come to terms with the difficulties in their lives. Helping families do that is rewarding for me.”
Supervising Social Worker
“Working together with foster carers to help young people in foster care do more makes this worth doing. Fostering is lots of little steps but each one is worth the effort.”
Supervising Social Worker
“Giving Foster Carers patience and understanding with the issues they face helps them reflect; but it also helps the carers give the same to the young people in our care.”
More From Gurmeet and Shobha
Press the quotes to read more….
Shobha - "I love working with Foster Families who really care about changing the lives of vulnerable young people for the better ..."
"Long term, the vulnerable children we help will achieve more and do more than they would otherwise; thats why I care.."
Foster A Child in London. They Need Your Help
Foster Homes in London needed this year
Children Coming into care in UK this year
Children in Foster Care in London
Foster Families in UK
Children and Young People Have Different Needs
Who can you help best
When children and young people are in a crisis situation, social workers and other authorities are duty bound to act quickly to make the situation safe.
Foster families can help by being available to accept children at any time day or night, at short notice and with limited knowledge of the children.
This type of fostering needs a special approach working with limited information and a vulnerable young person who may be upset or confused. Providing care like this is vital to bring safety to a young person in need.
Long Term Fostering
After a child has settled into foster care, the best option for their care might be long term fostering.
Making a commitment to a child until they are 18 or beyond is significant. Not least of which you will need to think ahead to when the child will be 18. What will your family composition will look like then. Families are matched carefully with children and may have a chance to get to know the child before the placement starts.
We will use our experience to set up the long term support plans to make sure the placement sustains.
Just as you might leave your birth children with their grandparents for the weekend, foster parents sometimes need a break from fostering.
Respite carers look after foster children for short periods of time. This might be a one off stay or perhaps a regular arrangement depending on the needs of the young person.
Learning how to settle the children and to ensure that they can return to their main placement without undermining that arrangement is important.
This type of fostering often suits people who have irregular work commitments.
Bridging placements are short term placements on the way to more permanent care like adoption or long term fostering.
During this time children will need to be re-assured and helped to understand that they will move again.
We teach you how to make positive attachment to the young people and how to move the child on in a way that is positive for them.
This has challenges for the foster families as well and we can teach you how to manage the natural feelings of loss at the end of any meaningful relationship.
Teenagers have a special appeal. We are all inquisitive about young people’s lives and how they see the world. Keeping the lines of communication open no matter what you hear is a fundamental skill when caring for teens. You might be the only people they confide in.
The fine line between giving attention and giving them their space is crucial. The subtlety of developing independent young adults versus their safety and security in the modern world is the balance that needs to be addressed. More than most they will appreciate you (usually after they grow up though!)
Keeping brothers and sisters together in fostering gives children an increased resilience. We help you learn about sibling rivalry and integrating groups into your family.
Finding enough bedrooms in the same home to look after siblings is at times difficult. Sometimes they can share a room if they are of the same gender and similar ages. With most sibling groups you will need more than one room to consider this type of fostering.
If you have more than one spare room you might consider this form of fostering.
Helping young parents learn to care for their child in a safe and responsible way can be very rewarding. Young mothers or fathers who are struggling to meet the needs of their child are placed in foster care.
Your role is to support and guide them to care for their child in a safe way. You will also make observations about their ability to parent their child.
We can support you to learn how to provide care for a care giver and how to show young people the skills they need to care for their new child.
Some children come into foster care after significant trauma like physical or sexual abuse. While they receive professional help, they also need more support from an understanding foster family.
We offer training for all our foster carers in how to manage crisis situations and how to care for children with trauma because all children in care suffer from some level of it. Further training and development will teach you how to help young people feel safe to talk about their difficulties and how to manage your own feelings about these issues as well.
Providing a place to stay for unaccompanied minors, or children who arrive in the UK without any appropriate adult to take care of them is an increasing part of our work.
Children in this situation may not speak good English and they may have had many difficulties on their journey from war torn parts of the world.
Once they are settled they will be subject to Home Office supervision while they application for asylum is processed. During this time, they will need reassurance and understanding.
There are many different forms of additional needs including the support of physical disability, educational needs and some mental health conditions.
Some children need physical modifications to their home environment and some just need additional time to help them cope with their disability. It’s difficult to be specific because each child will be at a different level of development.
Foster families provide much needed care and understanding for these young people.
Different Races and Religions
With so many children in foster care, you can be sure that they span many races and religions. If we had an infinite supply of foster families we could match these exactly, but sadly that’s not the case.
Race and religion are not the only matching criteria and so some foster families will look after children who are not from their own ethnicity or religion.
Foster families like this are very open to other cultures and enjoy learning about and promoting the child’s chosen religion and try to match the cultural aspects of the child’s care like food or hair care for example.
Remand fostering is provided for children and young people who are part of the youth justice system. Typically, these placements are following some form of criminal charges but the child may still be in the court system at this time.
Where the child is considered not to be a threat to society they may be referred to foster care. Children are usually under some form of restriction to their mobility such as a curfew, a tag or a need to remain at home.
Clearly most children in this type of fostering need a great deal of re-assurance and they may be anxious about the outcome of their case and the consequences of their previous actions.
What Happens After I Call?
A video with our Synergy Characters Seb and Faith
Everyone has a different story how they have got to where they are today. There are not many circumstances we have not heard before and not many reasons why you cannot foster.
There is no formula for a Foster Family just people who care and have room in their life for a foster child.
Debbie and Fred
Debbie and Fred decided to foster after their own children from their first marriages left home. With two empty bedrooms they decided to look after a sibling group. Now they have a real houseful when the older children visit.
Celeste is single and has fostered lots of children and now takes care of Parent and Child placements in her home, sometimes two at a time! She loves the small children and guiding the young parents how to care for their new families.
Delila and David
David and Delila both work and still find time for fostering and their two birth children. David’s parents also foster and Delila comes from a big family herself so she loves to have her house full of lively activity and the sound of families playing.
Paul and Peter
Paul and Peter are married. Peter works from home. They did not realise they could foster but now they have been trained they realise they have all the skills they need to look after a young person in their two bedroom flat. They enjoy sharing their love of sporting activities with young people.
Heather is a full time teacher who has been fostering for many years. Her work based skills make her ideal for fostering. She is able to look after older children who are a bit more independent but of course she also has the school holidays free for parenting when her foster children are off school.
Suman and Anand
Suman and Anand have looked after many children from all backgrounds over the years. They hold an annual house party for all their foster children on Christmas Day, a day many previously fostered children find difficult. “Our diary was free that day.”