Foster Care

We Must Listen To Our Children In Care

Chloe Cockett | Posted 24.01.2017 | UK Politics
Chloe Cockett

We certainly don't want to stand in the way of innovation or improvements to a system that should provide children in care with the childhood that they deserve. But until children in care and care leavers' voices are heard in this debate, none of us can say that we are putting children at the centre of decision making, or making law that is definitely in their best interests. We believe that the Government should pause the passing of the Children and Social Work Bill to allow for sufficient consultation with children and young people.

Society Must Face Up To The Cost Of Foster Care

Martin Barrow | Posted 19.01.2017 | UK Parents
Martin Barrow

I think that it is particularly difficult for foster carers to express their frustration over allowances because there is still a widely-held belief among the public that fostering and money should never be mentioned in the same breath. That we do it for the love of the children, and that is a reward in itself; and that foster carers should not be motivated by money.

2017 Is The Year Of The Foster Carer And Here's Why...

James Cleary | Posted 05.01.2017 | UK Parents
James Cleary

The beginning of a new year is a time when ambitions and dreams are taken from under the bed, dusted off and thoughtfully considered. For a lot of us, it's a good time for soul searching and a great time for change, and in the world of fostering in 2017 there is a great deal of change that's needed.

Let's All Work Together To Make Christmas Special For Children In Care

Edward Timpson | Posted 23.12.2016 | UK Politics
Edward Timpson

All around the country, foster carers are doing their bit to make sure that this Christmas will be a special one for the children and young people they care for. Having grown up with many foster brothers and sisters, I know all too well that the winter holidays are especially hard for children growing up in care. At this time of year, they are in need of all the extra love and support we can give them.

My Foster Daughter The Refugee

Debbie Williams | Posted 23.12.2016 | UK Parents
Debbie Williams

The day she arrived at my home I opened the door to find a pretty little girl that looked very thin and scared. The social worker was holding her hand and she looked terrified. I was told she couldn't speak English so I was mindful of my body language and facial expressions. If she couldn't understand English, she would understand love and affection.

Foster Care At Christmas? It's Complicated

Martin Barrow | Posted 14.12.2016 | UK Parents
Martin Barrow

We see the love and sense of pride in the faces of mums and dads, and make sure that our little'uns can see us in the audience, so they too can be reassured that there is someone who cares. We take photos, and collect the programmes, which will find their way into memory boxes and albums for when the day comes, as inevitably it will, for them to move on.

Corporate Parenting: What Can The Westminster Government Do Better?

Chloe Cockett | Posted 14.12.2016 | UK Politics
Chloe Cockett

About three years ago, I went to an awards event at a local authority. There were local councillors there, including the cabinet member with responsibility for looked after children and care leavers. That cabinet member stood up and said to the care leavers there that the councillors were their corporate parents.

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.