News by Month
EFCA Newsletter - June 2023
Here is your June 2023 Newsletter from the EFCA
If you would like to come to our AGM then please fill in the form on this page by Monday 5th June end of day: AGM Form
If you'd like some good value items place your order by emailing Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org by end of day Monday 5th June.
In the news this month we have (scroll or click on the link to jump to a topic):
This is everyone’s News so let’s get started!
Do you know there is a Facebook group specifically for Essex Foster Carers? It is a closed and private group that you must be invited to join. It is a brilliant platform for asking questions and meeting like-minded people. If you wish to join, just send us an email with a name of another foster carer who can verify you to email@example.com.
Remember we are here for you, if you need the EFCA for questions, queries, problems or just need a chat! Find us on the Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Your quadrant EFCA representatives are:
A few months ago we asked you to nominate someone special. This is now our annual event and we have to say you all rose to the occasion and we had an amazing response!
As we read the nominations I have to admit I did 'tear up'! So, for those who have gone over and above, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Your Certificates and Hampers are on there way to you as I write this!
So, the winners are:
Tina Brunning Debbie Finch Lisa Forestgate Ernie Amy Rebecca Julie Douglas Jenni Hoad Jacqui Martin Ethel Davis Russel Floyd Geetha Ramsaroop Emily Stevens Tracey Willats Joanne Peat Lisa Napier Karen Cameron
We had a couple of Carers approach us saying that they had received new laptops for there LAC - Lucy Tanner did a quick email to Virtual School to see what was going on and we got a very quick response!
We are still providing laptops for school age looked after children only if they do not have access to a device and there is a need.
> We have a couple of iPads left however, we will not be able to purchase anymore therefore, please ask the social worker to request one ASAP.
> The request for a device must come from the social worker. If a child has already been provided a device previously then we would question why a 2nd has been requested (we have a record of who has had a device).
> A laptop is not automatically provided, they are provided on a need basics.
So please contact your SSW to ask them if you think your young person needs one!
Some of you may have had your free school meals removed from the child that you are looking after. There have been some changes in regulations that are causing some confusion amongst the schools. If your child has come into care with Free School Meals this will continue until March 2025. Essex will be writing about this in their June Newsletter.
However, we are now experiencing some schools removing the Free School Meals even though they are not supposed to as the child is in mid-year, or there has been no change in circumstance. We are currently working on this.
Over the past couple of months we have been made aware that there has been an increase in Data Breaches. Please see the guidance so that you know what to do if this happens to you.
A short guide to Data Breaches
From time to time, we all get a call from someone trying to sell us something and we wonder how they got our mobile number – well it’s because you probably didn’t tick (or untick) a box somewhere. Data rules are tightening but its still not perfect.
Then there’s the call you get from a parent of the child you look after, and this can be very disturbing. You did not give them your mobile number and that is a data breach. It’s the sharing of Personal Identifiable Information. Sometimes mistakes are made, and your number was passed to them in error, but this is still a breach. You didn’t give permission. It’s the same for your email address.
However, it not the same for your address. When a child comes in to care the parent has a right to know where their child is living, the court decides on whether it is safe to share your address and you can not stop this.
Another type of Data breach is when you are told some information that the person telling you had not got permission to tell you.
If you believe that someone has shared some information that they shouldn’t have done, you should talk to your Social Worker and or us (EFCA). If you feel that you have not been heard or it has not been dealt with appropriately then you should report it. All you have to do is send an email to email@example.com stating what you think the breach is and the concerns, outcome of the breach. They will investigate the complaint; you will receive an outcome of the investigation and the actions that have been taken. Please make sure you keep any evidence of the data breach.
Over the coming months the EFCA are arranging to interview the different departments within Essex to help you better understand the processes and what can help you.
We are currently working on Staying Put…
Videos already available:
The "Myth Busting Finance" video is available by clicking here
Here are this month's fundraising activities
- Help us by using Gift Aid whenever you make a donation: GiftAid.pdf
- Giving Lottery : https://www.givinglottery.org.uk/support/essex-foster-carers-association
- Adventure Island tickets : Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Father's Day raffle
Have you or your partner made a donation (including Gofundme) to EFCA in the past four years? If you have and you have paid tax, please complete the Gift Aid Form at the link GiftAid.pdf, as EFCA are able to boost your donation by 25p for every £1 you donated. Once you have completed the form, just return it to email@example.com.
It's going to be pretty difficult to remember how much you donated in the past 4 years, so please estimate an amount.
Join the Giving Lottery and support EFCA using this link: https://www.givinglottery.org.uk/support/essex-foster-carers-association
To get your tickets please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
To get your tickets please contact email@example.com