Zipwire launches across Suffolk
A SPECIALIST fostering programme called Zipwire has been launched in Lowestoft to offer innovative foster care for those fostering teenagers with complex behaviours.
In 2012 Norfolk and Suffolk County Council were awarded joint funding from the Department of Education to set up an innovative specialist fostering programme aimed specifically for young people in care aged 11 to 17.
A new team has now been established with professionals from a range of backgrounds including the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, and Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils. The specialist fostering programme has now been launched and known locally as Zipwire.
Jill Toal, Programme Manager for Zipwire said: “The programme is more widely referred to as Multi-Dimensional Treatment Foster Care (MTFC) which is a method of behaviour management developed by the Oregon Social Learning Centre and has been extensively trialled in the States and across Europe.
“Our local name for the project is ‘Zipwire’ because it denotes a different way of moving forward and that’s exactly what MTFC is.”
Councillor Graham Newman, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for education and young people, said: “I am delighted that this new service is now available for young people across Suffolk and Norfolk.
“Some of the real benefits to this type of fostering programme will enable young people with challenging behaviours to live in a family setting, which may not have previously been an option for them.”
Zipwire Foster Carers are currently being recruited to the programme, and will provide a single placement for a young person up to 12 months. Foster carers will follow a tried and tested programme of behaviour modification which prepares young people to move onto longer term placements either with their own families or with other foster carers. Zipwire Foster carers are given very intensive support throughout this programme and the young people receive individual support, specialist treatment and skills training.
The Zipwire team are now actively recruiting potential foster carers and would really like to hear from people who are thinking about fostering or from experienced carers who are interested in joining the new programme.
To find out more about the Zipwire programme contact Suffolk’s Fostering Service on 0800 328 2148 or visit: www.suffolkfostering.com
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