Foster Care

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.

Young People Reveal Holes in the Foster Care Safety Net

Andrew Lam | Posted 26.02.2016 | UK Universities & Education
Andrew Lam

Liberty Dycus, 23, who was adopted from Ethiopia as a child, ended up in foster care after being abused. She says that when she emancipated at 19, sh...

Adoption Agencies Want Volunteers To Cuddle Newborns

The Huffington Post UK | Amy Packham | Posted 19.02.2016 | UK Parents

Adoption agencies are looking for volunteers to cuddle and care for newborn babies waiting to be adopted. The agencies in America, who need volunt...

Domestic Violence Knows no Postcode

Martin Barrow | Posted 19.02.2016 | UK
Martin Barrow

Yes, looked-after children are more likely to have lived in poverty, and they are more likely to have parents whose own lives were blighted by neglect and abuse. But we have also provided a home to children and young people who attended private schools, who wore preppy clothes and carried the latest smart phone in their back pocket. We have cared for children who told stories of foreign holidays and family days out just like our own.

Keep Children in Care Connected to Those Who Matter to Them

Kevin Williams | Posted 11.02.2016 | UK Politics
Kevin Williams

If the governments of the UK are to create future generations of successful and happy care experienced young people, they have to support them in maintaining the relationships that bring them security, happiness, and the freedom to express themselves and fulfil their potential.

Putting Children's Mental Health First

Martin Barrow | Posted 08.02.2016 | UK Parents
Martin Barrow

Most foster carers have little, if any, specialist training in dealing with mental health issues. We rely heavily on our own life experience, particularly the experience of bringing up our own families, and we look to our social work teams for support and advice.

Kitchen of Life

Martin Barrow | Posted 03.02.2016 | UK Parents
Martin Barrow

It has taken time but our foster children have finally got used to me doing the washing up, peeling potatoes and preparing lunch, although they still expect me to cut a finger when I chop carrots.

The Young Become the Old

Martin Barrow | Posted 18.01.2016 | UK
Martin Barrow

It is an unlikely friendship. He's pushing 90, blind and not as quick on his feet as he used to be. She's not yet four, and until recently rarely said a word. Now she has found her voice and she has plenty to say for herself. Within moments she is holding the elderly gent's hand and he is laughing out loud. If he's not careful she'll soon be helping herself to the cake from his plate.

Foster Care Works - This Must Be Acknowledged

Kevin Williams | Posted 15.01.2016 | UK Politics
Kevin Williams

Good foster care transforms lives and enables young people to flourish. The vast majority of young people in care are living with foster families who love them, and provide the stability and support that will see them grow into confident adults.

When the Numbers of Foster Care Don't Add Up

Martin Barrow | Posted 04.01.2016 | UK
Martin Barrow

How many children have we fostered? From now on, that will remain between us and the children, thank you.

Tis the Season to Be Caring

Martin Barrow | Posted 23.12.2015 | UK Parents
Martin Barrow

The season to be merry is in full swing, and all around us people appear to be having a great time. As a family we love Christmas and everything it stands for. We celebrate with close relatives and friends, reflect on the year that is drawing to a close and to make plans for the year ahead. But as foster carers? Well, it is complicated, isn't it?

Education, Much More Than Box Ticking

Kevin Williams | Posted 08.12.2015 | UK
Kevin Williams

Educational outcomes are easy to analyse, put in tables, and condemn and congratulate people for - but all too often it is forgotten that the focus of education should be on the child, on their needs, their wishes, and their aspirations.

Mum Moved To Tears By Stranger's Christmas Gesture For Foster Daughter

The Huffington Post UK | Amy Packham | Posted 08.12.2015 | UK Parents

A mother was moved to tears during a trip to a café with her foster, when a stranger left a sweet note for the child with a bit of Christmas magic. ...

Foster Care Is Renewal of the Human Spirit

Martin Barrow | Posted 06.12.2015 | UK
Martin Barrow

As she runs off to play, I contemplate the wondrous capacity of the human spirit to overcome adversity. Just a few weeks ago this same child did not know me, and had never set foot in our home. All this is new and alien. She has been removed from everything she has ever known to become a looked-after child in foster care, with no sense of how long this might last.