Our work in England

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Our team in England works directly with our members and stakeholders throughout the country. We offer national and local support, with our membership officers, practice support consultants, advice and mediation workers and independent support workers covering all regions. We provide a wide range of events, training, projects, consultancy and support for foster carers and fostering services, as well as influencing and creating change locally and at the highest levels, all aimed at making foster care better for fostered children and the families that look after them.

Membership team

Our membership team is on hand to answer queries about your membership via membership@fostering.net or 020 7620 6440. We also have a team of membership officers based regionally to offer support to our members across England.

Practice support team 

Our team of regional practice support consultants are all practice experts with direct experience of social work, working within fostering services and providing legal advice. Practice consultants provide members with advice and support on a wide range of fostering issues including legislative frameworks, sharing best practice, recruitment and retention of foster carers, arrangements for young people 18+ and safer caring. Find details of the practice support consultant in your area.

Member helpline

Our highly experienced helpline team offers a comprehensive and responsive service for our members. Members of The Fostering Network can call us with any fostering queries or areas they want to discuss further on 020 7401 9582 between 10am-3pm, Monday to Friday, or email info@fostering.net. The helpline is confidential, independent and impartial.

We endeavour to answer all calls directly. However, the member helpline does get very busy and so if you call us during opening hours you might hear our voicemail message – it just means we are on the phone. Leave your name and telephone number (clearly and slowly) and we will return your call; we aim to do so within 24 hours or the next working day if the message is left on a Friday or at the weekend.

Our helpline team are highly experienced in offering guidance about a vast range of fostering issues including fostering legislation and standards, allegations, review of approval, tax and benefits and disruption of placement. As well as using the expertise within the team, the helpline advisers are able to consult practice experts from across the organisation for specific technical advice.

You can also write to us at 87 Blackfriars Road, London, SE1 8HA.

Independent support services

High quality independent support is vital for foster carers in times of allegations or other disputes they may be involved in. We offer direct independent support for foster carers, via their fostering services, in a variety of ways, including our long-established advice and mediation service. Find out more about our range of independent support services and our team of advice and mediation and independent support workers.

Publications, training, events, packages and consultancy

The Fostering Network supports foster carers with a range of training and publications, which are tailored to meet their needs. Services too can benefit from our training and publications, as well as packages of support and consultancy to improve their service and offer to foster carers.

All our publications have been developed using our experience of working with foster carers and fostering services for over 45 years, including our flagship pre-approval training, The Skills to Foster™. We continually update and develop our materials based on feedback and to reflect external changes.

We offer events for foster carers, social workers and other professionals to address key issues and provide opportunities to share best practice in fostering, so that together we can transform the lives of looked after children.

Our team of expert trainers regularly deliver our range of popular training courses across the country, available as both in-house (purchased by and delivered within your fostering service) or open courses (individuals or groups can book on to these directly). Find out more on our training pages or contact Christina Nelson.

The Fostering Network can draw on expertise across a range of areas to create a bespoke consultancy package for your service. Whether you are establishing a new fostering service or are looking to fine tune or review existing processes, we have experience in delivering a range of both strategic and operational consultancy on topics such as foster carer recruitment and retention, pre-Ofsted preparation, and policy and case reviews. With an experienced staff team and an extensive pool of associates, we bring together key national experts in all aspects of fostering. Our relationship with our members makes us ideally placed to design and deliver tailored support packages and our focus is to offer affordable and sustainable solutions for those we work with.

Contact our head of membership services and engagement James Foyle for more information on our consultancy work and other packages of support.

Projects

We are constantly developing and piloting innovative new approaches to foster care across England, to ensure the very best for fostered children. We work in partnership with fostering services and national decision makers to look at ways of addressing some of the key challenges within fostering. Read more about our current projects.

Policy and campaigns

We work hard to influence the policy agenda at national and local level, through attending meetings, sitting on steering groups, responding to consultations, sharing our research findings, lobbying and campaigning. We have regular meetings with relevant teams with the Department for Education, as well as with Ofsted, the ADCS and the LGA. Our policy and campaigns managers are joint co-chairs of the Alliance for Children in Care and Care Leavers, a coalition of charities that work to support children in care and care leavers. Find out more about our policy positions and join us in our campaigns to make foster care the best it can be for children and young people and the families that look after them. 

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