Tag Archives: care

Malaika’s Story…

 

When you first meet seven-year-old Malaika Azeem from Bradford, she appears to be a healthy little girl. But at only a few weeks old, Malaika was diagnosed with life-limiting Congenital Heart Disease, a condition that causes increased heart rate, shortness of breath, chest pain and mobility problems. Malaika is in need of round the clock care that often leaves mum Sanam struggling to cope.

Malaika also suffers from frequent cyanosis, which causes poor oxygenation of the blood, otherwise known as ‘blue episodes’, for which she requires immediate hospitalisation. For mum Sanam, the past six years have been a constant battle to find support for the family.

She explains:

“The last 12 months have been really stressful for us all. In January last year, Malaika underwent open-heart surgery and doctors were unsure as to whether she’d pull through. After the operation, I cared for Malaika myself, changing her tracheotomy at home, as well as managing her physiotherapy. Since then, she has had several severe blue episodes and endured repeated hospital stays.

“I’m lucky to have the support of my parents and sister, who live close by, but there are very few people I would trust with Malaika’s care. Although I’ve previously tried to access different services in Bradford, there are few who really understand Malaika’s condition. Because she looks normal, people don’t understand.”

The challenge of caring for Malaika 24 hours a day, seven days a week is made more difficult as Sanam must juggle Malaika’s needs with those of her three sisters. Nimrah 13, Romesa 10, and Saira 3. For them, family life revolves around Malaika’s medical care, meaning that weekend activities and time out together are almost impossible.

Sanam explains further.

“Planning outings is a huge struggle. In the past, when we’ve been out and about, Malaika has fallen or become ill, so when I’m looking at places to go I have to consider where is suitable for her, and what might happen if she is ill away from home.

“I often feel guilty not being able to spend time with the other children. They sometimes get upset at the amount of attention I give Malaika, but when she falls ill, they understand why she needs me so much. My eldest, Nimrah, acts as a mother, sister and friend. She will help to wash and change Malaika and is a huge support to me. I’ve always tried to be honest with them all about the reality of Malaika’s condition and we take each day as it comes.”

Sanam self-referred Malaika to Martin House in the summer of 2015, and was overjoyed when the family were invited to a special tour prior to their first stay: After their first stay at Martin House in November last year, the Bradford family are hopeful that, with the right support, life can become a little more manageable.

“Malaika loved her first visit to the hospice. When we got there she didn’t know where to look first, and was so excited saying, “look at this, look at that”. She didn’t want to come home at all! Before our first proper stay in November, Malaika had been very ill and I was barely sleeping. The stay came at just the right time for both of us.”

“The time we spent at Martin House was an extraordinary experience. It was so good to get away from everything. Going to the hospice gives me the chance to talk to other parents and realise I’m not alone – their children might have different needs but we are all in the same boat. I don’t need sympathy; it’s so wonderful to be able to speak to people who understand.”

“When I talk to people about the hospice, they assume it’s all about end of life care. But Martin House do everything. Malaika loves to sing, and when she last stayed, she made a CD of her singing nursery rhymes and other songs. When I listened to it, I was in tears! It’s building up these memories that’s so special, all the little things that we do together that mean so much.”

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Spotlight on Martin House Hospice

Martin House Hospice near Wetherby, opened its doors as the North’s first purpose-built hospice for children and young people in 1987. This year will mark its 30th Anniversary. Over that time, it has supported over 2000 children with life-shortening illnesses from across the Yorkshire region.

Nearly a third of the children cared for by Martin House come from the Bradford District, and the hospice community nurses spend a large amount of time supporting those families in their homes or in hospitals in and around the district.

For those who wish, there is also the opportunity for families  to come to stay at the  hospice near Wetherby, set in six acres of landscaped gardens, for planned respite care to allow them time to rest and spend quality time together as a family, or for emergency care, symptom control or end-of-life care if needed. Families who have lost a child can be supported by bereavement visitors; they can access that service even if they haven’t been to Martin House before.

To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Martin House, they will be holding a family-friendly event with their inflatable art installation at Delius Arts and Cultural Centre on 23rd August.

To find out more about the event and Martin House, visit the website: www.martinhouse.org.uk or call 01937 845045 or on the Bradford local offer website.

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Drive to find and support people who ‘privately foster’

Bradford Council is marking Private Fostering Week, which runs from 3 to 7 July, by reminding people to get in touch if they think a child is living with someone other than their parents or a close relative.

Private fostering is where a child lives with someone who is not their parent or a close relative, for longer than 28 days. This can be for a number of reasons including if the child’s parents are abroad or unwell, or if there are difficulties in the family.

Private foster care can be a very positive experience; however, the council needs to know about children and young people in these types of arrangements as they are potentially vulnerable as they are not living with their parents.

Bradford Council is particularly asking people who work with children to be aware of private fostering and to notify the council.

The council has produced a short film about private fostering that can be viewed here.  Messages are also being sent out in to the Polish, Slovakian and Czech communities through social media posts.

Coun Val Slater, Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “If you look after someone else’s child, or know of someone who does, we’re encouraging you to contact us.

“Ensuring all children are safe is a priority. Everyone should know what private fostering is and what you need to do if you think a child is living in this arrangement.”

People can contact Children’s Services on 01274 437500 or find out more at:

http://www.bradford.gov.uk/children-young-people-and-families/private-fostering/private-fostering/

More information about the national campaign is available at:

http://www.privatefostering.org.uk/

Notes

A private fostering arrangement is essentially one that is made without the direct involvement of a Local Authority for the care of a child under the age of 16 (or 18 if disabled) by someone other than a parent or close relative for 28 days or more.

A close relative is defined as “a grandparent, brother, sister, aunt or uncle (whether a full or half relative or by marriage or civil partnership) or step-parent.

Privately fostered children are a diverse and sometimes vulnerable group, which includes:

• children sent from abroad to stay with another family, usually to improve their educational opportunities

• teenagers who, having fallen out with their parents, are staying in short-term arrangements with friends or other non-relatives

• language students living with host families

‘You Can Foster’ campaign launched

A new fostering campaign for the North of England in 2017 is launched during Foster Care Fortnight which started this week.

‘You Can Foster’ has so far helped create more than 1,000 enquiries from prospective foster carers.

Foster children have hopes and dreams too – help make them a reality.

This year potential foster carers will be able to meet experienced carers at ‘open house’ sessions at key family-friendly spots across Yorkshire.

Events will be held in the Bradford district.

Event dates :-
• Saltaire local produce market – Saturday, 13 May
• Bradford City Cycle event – Sunday, 14 May
• Information Meeting at Margaret McMillan Tower, Bradford at 6pm on Wednesday, 17 May

David Byrom, Bradford Council’s Head of Through care and Resources, said: “Foster carers are great ambassadors and we hope that by having them talk to potential carers they can encourage more people to take up fostering. There are a number of myths around fostering which are stopping people engaging; people thinking they’re too old, that they won’t get the support they need, that their sexuality makes a difference to their chances of fostering. We are saying, “Come on down and meet carers like you who can tell you what it’s really like to foster.”
Fostering is looking after a child or young person who can’t live with their own family. There are a number of reasons they might not be able to live with their family and it can be a very difficult time for the child so they’ll needs lots of support and care. There are around 8255 households across the North of England who foster for their local authority.
Across Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside there are around 11,525 children living in foster care.

Local Authorities particularly need to recruit foster carers for certain groups of children including:
• Brothers and sisters
• Older children and young people
• Children from black and ethnic minority backgrounds
• Children that will be in foster care long term
• Children who need more specialist care

For more information please visit: http://youcanfoster.org/

 

Community Award for Shirley Manor

Pupils at Shirley Manor Primary Academy were rewarded for their Community Project following the support they provided to people in a local care home suffering with Dementia. 

They won the Young Active Citizen Award in the Telegraph & Argus’ Community Stars Award at the end of last term. 

The school’s Year 4 pupils (now in Year 5) had been taking part in the Archbishop of York scheme which required them to do a Community Project.  This coincided with a visit to the school from Dementia Friends who taught the children about the effects of the condition and how to help sufferers. 

Following the visit one of the pupils, Jake Lee, discussed this with his mum who works in a Dementia Care Home.  Mrs Lee asked school if they would assist Rastrick Care Home with its Doll Therapy Scheme for Dementia sufferers – a non-pharmacological intervention aimed at reducing behavioural and psychological disorders in patients who are institutionalised.  

The children originally chose to collect dolls and donations of money in order to buy some dolls for the home’s Doll Therapy scheme.   

The School’s Learning Mentor nominated the class for the award which was presented to them by the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Coun Geoff Reid and Lady Mayoress, Chris Reid. 

Follow us on Twitter:  @Sh1rleyManor

Now is the time to foster

Bradford Council’s Fostering Service is appealing for people who can provide something very special to a teenager and child – a loving and secure family home that will allow them to flourish and thrive.

The Fostering Service is looking to find 30 new foster families to care for Bradford’s teenagers as they mark Foster Care Fortnight, a nationwide campaign run by the Fostering Network. This year’s campaign theme is ‘Time to foster, time to care’ which recognises that people take a long time to contact fostering services due to other commitments in their busy lives. But Bradford’s Fostering Service wants to get the message across that now is the right time to find out more about fostering.

They are looking for people who are skilled and experienced at working with or caring for teenagers; who are passionate about inspiring and supporting them and can provide them with a great family life.

Although teenagers are the focus of this campaign they are also looking for carers for:

*  Children aged five to 18.

*  Children with disabilities.

*  Large groups of brothers and sisters.

*  Part time foster carers to provide short breaks – regular overnight stays, weekend breaks, care during the school holidays and sometimes weekday care.

Foster carers receive a weekly fee based on how many children they care for and an allowance to cover costs.

People can be married, single, unmarried couples, gay or lesbian, have their own children, a homeowner or living in rented property – all are eligible.  All children are different so a wide range of people will meet their needs.  But all applicants need to be over 21 and have a spare room.

Michael Jameson, Bradford Council’s Strategic Director for Children’s Services, said:  “We currently have a great network of foster carers but we always need more.  It is a challenge but a really worthwhile role that can have a real impact on a child’s life.”

Anyone wishing to find out more about becoming a foster carer can visit www.fosterbradford.co.uk contact the recruitment line on 01274 434331 or email adoptionandfostering@bradford.gov.uk

The fostering service is available for informal chats and advice over the next two weeks at:
•    Bingley town centre/ library Monday 23rd May 11.30am to 1.30pm
•    Keighley town hall Tuesday 24th May 11.30am to 1.30pm
•    Ilkley library Wednesday 25th May 11.30am to 1.30pm