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12th July 2013 - How Catch Up® works for Looked After Children

Catch Up Blog

“Other people in my class can just "jog on", now I can do maths too!”
“Are we going to do that special thing when we go in our own room and read to each other and I get loads of words right?”

Some of the comments from Looked After Children who have benefited from doing Catch Up® at home.

I am a foster carer. I have used Catch Up® Literacy and Numeracy with Looked After Children in placement with myself and with children excluded from a mainstream school environment. Catch Up® can give foster carers a greater insight into why children are struggling and can give them techniques to support their foster child in school. It also makes carers feel they are doing something really worthwhile.

Looked After Children have often been deprived of the basic needs for life and without food, shelter and warmth, it’s impossible to learn. They may attend school but they may not be ready or able to learn, thus their learning is often fragmented. Catch Up® helps to fill in the gaps.

Catch Up® is short, it only takes 15 minutes and most people can fit this into busy schedules. This also benefits Looked After Children’s learning styles and limited concentration.

The very precise assessments ensure that children are working on the parts they have missed and target individual areas, such as spelling patterns or letter sounds. It can be very quick to identify a particular area that they’ve not understood or missed and work on this.

The prepared reading in Catch Up® Literacy and the review and introduction in Catch Up® Numeracy are an essential part of boosting confidence, which increases self-esteem.

Jade, aged 11, came to live with us with a Reading Age of 7 years 3 months. After 9 months of
Catch Up®, this increased to a Reading Age of 9 years 7 months. Her Number Age increased by a year in just 5 months. And her confidence grew enormously…..

“Now when someone at school doesn't understand something, I'm gonna help them!” (Heaven help them!)
“When I go back to school my teacher will drop on the floor and have a fit when she sees what I've been doing!”

Chanel, a traveller aged 15, struggled to stay in a classroom at all. After a period of time excluded from school doing regular Catch Up® Literacy and Numeracy, she couldn’t wait to get back and show them what she’d learnt.

“I like that my sister doesn't do this. No one else at school does this. This is just for me and you.”

As so often with fostering, at the centre is the 1-1 relationship between you and the young person. You sit close together. It is intimate, safe. Looked After Children value special time focussed just on them and benefit from regular concentrated time spent learning together. In turn, the child learns to trust you more as they can see they are doing well.

Catch Up® is an excellent way to increase Looked After Children’s learning potential and self-esteem as well as building confidence and relationships through trust. This can happen quickly and spark further development and a thirst for learning in other areas too!
I will finish with a few words from Jade.

“I didn’t used to be very good at reading, now… I think I’m even more good than my teacher!”

The bottom line is Catch Up® works (and I’m not being paid commission!) It’s effective and credible to young people.

Kirsty Offord-Hall, Foster Carer

Download the full presentation from Kirsty and Compass Fostering from our Catching up with Catch Up® conference.

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