Foster Care

Enjoyed A Good Career? Now Foster!

Martin Barrow | Posted 23.11.2016 | UK Parents
Martin Barrow

We became foster carers with no grand plan, unsure how long it would last. All these years later, we find that we are busier than ever with fostering, including our three current children who have been with us for just over a year.

No Ordinary Birthday

Martin Barrow | Posted 16.11.2016 | UK Parents
Martin Barrow

The venue is booked, the guests have been invited. The eldest of our three foster children is preparing to celebrate her birthday. She is drawing up a list of presents that she would like, tentatively at first but gradually growing in confidence, with some encouragement. This is not something she has been able to do in the past, and it takes some getting used to.

My Name Is Charlie, And I'm Just A Teenager Who Goes To University

Charlie Lain | Posted 02.11.2016 | UK Universities & Education
Charlie Lain

For many young people, university will be the first time that they've left home to live independently. It'll be a pivotal moment in their lives, leaving their family and friends to pursue higher education. It will end in a degree that will make or break whether or not they reach their dream career.

Whether You Fled Falling Bombs Or An Abusive Father, Once Your Voice Breaks You Are On Your Own

Martin Barrow | Posted 25.10.2016 | UK Politics
Martin Barrow

Refugees have fled the wars of Syria and Afghanistan and lived by their wits as they dragged themselves across a continent, hoping to be reunited with relatives in countries like Britain and France. And as they smiled at the cameras for the journalists waiting outside the immigration office in Croydon, they would have little sense of the anger and hatred that would be directed at them here in the fifth richest country on Earth.

Let's Celebrate The Sons And Daughters Of Foster Carers

Martin Barrow | Posted 13.10.2016 | UK Parents
Martin Barrow

Foster care really is a family commitment, and would not be possible without the selflessness, determination and courage of so many children and young people. They give so much, and often learn from a tender age how hard life can be.

Militant Foster Carers Are A Sign Of Deep Discontent In The World Of Child Protection

Martin Barrow | Posted 25.09.2016 | UK Parents
Martin Barrow

The reality is that our system of child protection relies overwhelmingly on volunteers. Foster carers provide homes for three out of every four children and young people in care. In return, they receive no salary but are compensated through allowances based on the number of children they care for and their special needs.

Urged On By Shadow Chancellor UK Foster Care Workers Vote To Unionise

Cathal Sheerin | Posted 21.09.2016 | UK Politics
Cathal Sheerin

In an historic moment for the child fostering sector - and urged on by the Labour Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP - foster care workers have voted to unionise and launch their own branch of the Independent Workers' Union of Great Britain Union (IWGB). The decision was taken at a packed meeting of foster care workers at Parliament on Monday 19th September.

Why We Actually Need to Recruit Foster Carers

James Cleary | Posted 09.09.2016 | UK
James Cleary

There will always be a need for new foster carers and we ought to look at that positively, every child and teenager is different, they deserve a truly broad and diverse range of carers to be matched with in order to give them the best chance of a good outcome in care and achieving success in their lives.

We Need More Foster Carers For Children In Care

Sir Tony Hawkhead | Posted 04.09.2016 | UK
Sir Tony Hawkhead

Moving from home to home can really affect a child's social skills, educational outcomes and employment prospects - impacting on their mental health and exacerbating any existing behavioural and emotional issues. We know first-hand the challenges these young people face, they have often experienced the worst in life, which means it can take several moves before they find the right foster carer to meet their specific needs.

Mum Shares Open Letter About How Adopting Her Son Changed Their Relationship Forever

The Huffington Post | Sophie Gallagher | Posted 23.08.2016 | UK Parents

A mum has shared an open letter about how adopting her son changed their relationship, and reminding everyone that it’s not always blood that makes ...

Saying Goodbye to Our Family Social Worker

Martin Barrow | Posted 11.07.2016 | UK Parents
Martin Barrow

We have said goodbye to our family social worker, who has retired after a long and distinguished career with the county council. She has been with us since we became foster carers some years ago, and has been at our side through thick and thin.

How YOU Can Support Foster Carers and Children in Need

Martin Barrow | Posted 24.06.2016 | UK
Martin Barrow

If you feel drawn to reading this blog, hopefully it is because you are thinking of becoming a foster carer. But even if there are reasons why that is not possible for you there are many ways you can support foster carers and help children in need. Here are just a few...

Foster Care Is All About Gruffalo Time

Martin Barrow | Posted 16.06.2016 | UK Parents
Martin Barrow

As foster carers we are used to receiving children who are strangers to the world in which we live. They are perplexed by many of things we take for granted. A well-stocked larder. Vegetables. Clean sheets. A tidy garden. Flowers in a vase. Please and thank you.

Be the Stranger Who Makes All Things Possible

Martin Barrow | Posted 23.05.2016 | UK Parents
Martin Barrow

We spent the middle Sunday of Foster Care Fortnight in the best way possible, in the company of foster children present and past. And no better meeting place for two rumbustious extended families than Groombridge Place, deep in the Kent countryside.

Foster Care Fortnight - How You Can Change the Life of a Vulnerable Child

Edward Timpson | Posted 23.05.2016 | UK Politics
Edward Timpson

As someone who was raised in a family that fostered, it's clear that fostering is not just a one-way street. I've seen foster children from my family go on to flourish and succeed, which is why my parents, and many other foster carers do it. According to the Fostering Network, every twenty minutes across the UK, a child comes into care in need of a foster family. This means that during Foster Care Fortnight alone over 1,000 children will require a foster family.

Becoming a Foster Carer This Foster Care Fortnight

Kevin Williams | Posted 19.05.2016 | UK Parents
Kevin Williams

If you're considering becoming a foster carer, the process of becoming a foster carer is far more straightforward and inclusive than you might think. The most important, and time consuming, stage of the process is deciding if fostering is right for you.

What Children Living in Foster Care Want From Their Foster Families

Kevin Williams | Posted 16.05.2016 | UK
Kevin Williams

Tonight, 64,000 children across the UK will go to sleep in the safety and security of the loving home of a family who have made the commitment to foster - and The Fostering Network's Foster Care Fortnight is a unique opportunity to celebrate those 55,000 foster families who make this possible.

The Five Things You Need to Be a Foster Carer

Martin Barrow | Posted 15.05.2016 | UK Parents
Martin Barrow

The Fostering Network estimates that 11,000 new fostering families are currently needed to ensure that children are able to benefit from the most appropriate placement for their increasingly complex needs. Foster Care Fortnight 2016 may inspire you to open your home to a child or young person in need of a loving family.

We All Grieve for Baby Keegan

Martin Barrow | Posted 05.05.2016 | UK
Martin Barrow

I was going to write an uplifting blog in celebration of Foster Care Fortnight, which takes place this month. But it is so difficult to be cheerful and optimistic about safeguarding children when the news is dominated by the murder of an infant at the hands of the woman entrusted with her care...

9-Year-Old Helps To Fund Own Adoption With Lemonade Stand

The Huffington Post | Amy Packham | Posted 26.04.2016 | UK Parents

A nine-year-old decided to help to fund his own adoption by selling homemade lemonade and cookies in his garden. Tristan Jacobsen from Springfield wan...

The Foster Care Covenant Is Broken

Martin Barrow | Posted 19.04.2016 | UK Parents
Martin Barrow

The fostering covenant is currently being broken, to coin a phrase David Cameron once used to describe our neglect of the military. Austerity measures are having a devastating effect on practical and financial support for foster carers, and on children's access to their social workers and other services, including mental health services.

Our Memories as Foster Carers Are Precious

Martin Barrow | Posted 12.04.2016 | UK Parents
Martin Barrow

An unexpected reunion with a much-loved former foster child brings memories flooding back. She came to us as a new-born and left just before her first birthday. She is thriving with her forever family, who are as dear to us as our own.

For the Sake of the Children, Foster Carers Deserve Better

Martin Barrow | Posted 31.03.2016 | UK Parents
Martin Barrow

We have witnessed the wonder of adoption first hand. As foster carers we were present when the baby we had cared for since birth met her new parents for the first time, and we have been blessed to be part of their lives ever since.

We All Have a Responsibility to Help Vulnerable Children

Martin Barrow | Posted 21.03.2016 | UK Parents
Martin Barrow

At the school gates parents mellow and become curious about this child's new lease of life. So often, they admit they were aware of problems, but felt it was not their place to become involved. Sometimes, there are genuine concerns for their own safety. But mostly, I am sad to say, it is down to indifference.

A Tale of Three Mums

Martin Barrow | Posted 01.03.2016 | UK Parents
Martin Barrow

The message about mothers and motherhood is clear and simple, and the pressure on children whose reality does not chime with the narrative presented by television and radio, or displayed in shop windows and restaurants is intense.