Foster Care

One Million Refugees. One Million Needless Tragedies

Carey Lodge | Posted 18.08.2017 | UK
Carey Lodge

Uganda is now hosting one million South Sudanese refugees © World Vision 2017 It's been one year since Bidi Bidi refugee settlement in northern Uga...

Foster Carers Are Entitled To Demand Fairness At Work

Martin Barrow | Posted 04.08.2017 | UK Parents
Martin Barrow

Change needs to come from the top. Directors of children's services can lead by example, giving foster carers an equal voice in their fostering and adoption teams, instead of treating us like providers of bed and breakfast, as is the case too often. Respect for foster carers, no less than we deserve, is what most of us really want.

This Piecemeal Review Of The Care System Is Not The Answer Children Need

Chloe Cockett | Posted 17.07.2017 | UK Politics
Chloe Cockett

Over the past six years, we have seen a piecemeal approach to reviewing different parts of the care system. It began with a focus on adoption, and the appointment of a Ministerial Adviser on Adoption. That was followed by the Narey independent review of residential care. Now we have the Fostering Stocktake - a review into foster care.

We Make Happy Summer Memories For Children In Care

Martin Barrow | Posted 16.07.2017 | UK
Martin Barrow

If I paint a particularly bleak picture of a typical summer in the world of fostering, I apologise. Yet these are some of the concerns that preoccupy the UK's 55,000 fostering families as they prepare for the end of term. This summer they will carry much of the burden of caring for society's most vulnerable children alone, with little help from their communities. I just thought you should know.

Fostering With Pride

Fabrizio Melis | Posted 08.07.2017 | UK Parents
Fabrizio Melis

Our journey into fostering started after two successful adoptions and the understanding of how important fostering a looked after child is. Our children were extremely lucky to have had amazing foster families, who provided a loving and stable environment and also prepared them for their forever families.

Pride And Joy Of Being A Foster Family

Martin Barrow | Posted 04.07.2017 | UK Parents
Martin Barrow

We never forget what a privilege it is, to be granted these memories and to share in the joy, nor do we underestimated the scale of the responsibility we have been given. We also are conscious that each milestone we witness is a milestone withheld from a birth parent or grandparent, or a moment that has not been shared with a forever family.

This Mum Has Fostered Over 800 Children, But Says She Wanted To Care For More

The Huffington Post | Sophie Gallagher | Posted 04.07.2017 | UK Parents

An 80-year-old mum from London has fostered over 800 children in her Wembley home. Birdie McDonald, already had three biological children when she fir...

I'm The Proudest Dad In The World

David Lidstone | Posted 16.06.2017 | UK Parents
David Lidstone

I think that as a man I have quite a different relationship with G than Karen does and I play a different role. She goes to us depending upon her differing needs. But, I think that one of my most important roles is to show her what a good relationship is like. She needs to see a strong and loving relationship between Karen and I so that she makes good decisions about her future partners.

An Election That Forgot About Children

Martin Barrow | Posted 08.06.2017 | UK Politics
Martin Barrow

Where have children been in this election? The campaign has taken many twists and turns and ultimately has become, above all, an election about security, following attacks in Manchester and London. But there has been plenty of airtime for discussion about nuclear weapons, the IRA, Brexit, immigration, care of the elderly, the NHS, education and foreign policy.

Ten Things Carers Can Do To Prepare Care Experienced Young People For Independence

Chloe Cockett | Posted 06.06.2017 | UK Universities & Education
Chloe Cockett

Young people leaving care are much more likely to be living independently at a far younger age than their peers. Not because they want to, but because they are forced to. Because they've not always got the support that allows them to stay in a familial home for as long they need, they've only got it for as long as it is legally obligated.

Don't Leave Children In Care Behind

Javed Khan | Posted 02.06.2017 | UK
Javed Khan

The number of young people in care in the UK has soared to a 30 year high of 94,396 - that's 145 for every MP in the House of Commons. Of course, that rise means the number leaving care is also increasing, many of them having faced unimaginable trauma including abuse and neglect.

Why It's Important To Celebrate International Children's Day Every Day

Javed Khan | Posted 01.06.2017 | UK
Javed Khan

We support these children through services ranging from work in schools, where youngsters learn it's okay to talk and ask for help, to trauma focused practice. Through all our work we make them realise there is help out there, not just on International Children's Day but every day.

Our Grandson, The Foster Carer

Martin Barrow | Posted 29.05.2017 | UK Parents
Martin Barrow

It takes a village to raise a child, as the refrain goes. Fostering is a commitment that affects a broad community. Our grandson will feel the departure of our foster children keenly, but he will not be the only one. Over the past 18 months or so, they have been loved by so many people, both old and young.

More Foster Carers Needed To Keep Siblings Together

Kevin Williams | Posted 19.05.2017 | UK Parents
Kevin Williams

Despite the odd sibling squabble, it is difficult for many of us with siblings to imagine growing up without them. Their influence on our lives was, and continues to be, immeasurable. And yet, when it comes to fostering, siblings are being split up far too often.

A Book Dedicated To Foster Carers, Heroes Of The State

Martin Barrow | Posted 15.05.2017 | UK Parents
Martin Barrow

No two foster carers are the same, and no two children are identical. Hence, the need for the handbook to reflect a diversity of approaches. Our ambition is that foster carers old and new will reflect on the experiences of our contributors and reflect on how these learnings may be relevant to their own approach to foster care.

These Foster Carers Want You To Know What It's Like Looking After Children

The Huffington Post | Sophie Gallagher | Posted 10.05.2017 | UK Parents

Every year, tens of thousands of children across the UK need foster carers because they are no longer able to live with their own families. According...

Fostered Teenagers - A Double Whammy Of Misunderstanding

Kevin Williams | Posted 05.05.2017 | UK Parents
Kevin Williams

I would encourage anyone thinking about fostering to come forward because there are so many more teenagers out there who need a secure home environment to help them stabilise their lives and move forward.

Saying Goodbye To A Foster Child Is The Toughest Challenge

Martin Barrow | Posted 02.05.2017 | UK Parents
Martin Barrow

When a foster child arrives, we usually do not know how long the placement will last. It may be for days, weeks or months. This placement has lasted for almost one year and a half. That's two birthdays, two Christmases and two Easters.

Let's Talk About Children In Care This General Election

Chloe Cockett | Posted 01.05.2017 | UK Politics
Chloe Cockett

Children in care face bigger issues than the type of school they attend - their achievement, or lack of in comparison to their peers, is rooted in bigger issues, like moving to new houses on a regular basis, moving family, and moving school many more times than the average child.

Part-Time Foster Carers Are Worth Their Weight In Gold

Martin Barrow | Posted 12.04.2017 | UK Parents
Martin Barrow

Our long weekend was possible only because of the availability of respite care, arranged through West Sussex County Council, for whom we work as foster carers. Our children were able to stay with approved, experienced foster carers who make their home available to give full-time foster carers like us a break when we need it.

Foster Carers Become Masters Of Disguise

Martin Barrow | Posted 12.03.2017 | UK Parents
Martin Barrow

We learn new school runs and hitherto unknown neighbourhoods become focal points in our lives. Our weekends are punctuated by social events with families who were strangers to us until a few weeks ago.

LGBT Adoption And Fostering Week 2017

Javed Khan | Posted 09.03.2017 | UK
Javed Khan

One of the best things about my job is knowing how Barnardo's transforms the lives of vulnerable children on a daily basis. For me, that's about belie...

Keeping Children Safe Is Your Responsibility Too. Don't Leave It To The Professionals

Martin Barrow | Posted 28.02.2017 | UK Parents
Martin Barrow

But if cases like that of Keegan Downer and Daniel Pelka will teach us anything, it is that the general public are as responsible as so-called professionals when it comes to keeping children safe.

Put Children First In The Quest To Improve Foster Care

Martin Barrow | Posted 09.02.2017 | UK Politics
Martin Barrow

Above all, be ambitious. Be as ambitious for children and young people in care as you would be for your own. Map the route from broken family home to high achievement in business, academia and the arts, and make recommendations that will bulldoze the road blocks along the way. Now that would be an inquiry worth waiting for.

2017 - A Crucial Year For Fostering

Kevin Williams | Posted 02.02.2017 | UK Parents
Kevin Williams

This hampers the recruitment of new foster carers, and increases long-term societal and financial costs, so it is vital the committee, the stocktake, the root and branch review - every one of the UK's governments - considers these issues and addresses them urgently.