Campaigns update May 2016 - cuts, charters and Staying Put

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The sun is out and the birds are singing, and The Fostering Network continues campaigning with a spring in our step.

Cuts: the view from foster carers​

A key part of our ongoing campaigns work is to ensure that decision makers get the full facts about fostering. At the moment the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Children is conducting an inquiry into children’s social care in England, and to inform our response to this we surveyed foster carers on the subject of cuts to English local authority budgets.  Thank you to everybody who took part: we had over 700 responses, which was fantastic.

It was shocking to read some of your stories in the survey responses, and the information provided painted a stark picture. Your responses are invaluable – both for our response to the Inquiry, but also for a standalone report we have produced. Cuts: the view from foster carers has now been published on our website and we are already using it in our campaigns work to push for improvements to foster care.

The report received significant media coverage and has been sent to all MPs and relevant ministers. We have received a reply from Edward Timpson, the Children’s Minister in England, which you can read here. In  the letter the minister outlines how the Government is supporting fostering and fostered children, and says he hopes this information has allayed foster carers fears. We will feed back to him as a result of any responses we get, so do let us know.

Staying Put

We are continuing our research into the implementation of Staying Put across England, and we would like to gain insight as to how well Staying Put is being established on a local level – what is working well and what needs to improve. We were instrumental in campaigning for this new law to come into force, and are keen to ensure that it is being introduced as successfully and consistently as possible. So if you are a foster carer in England who has young people living with them who are likely to be eligible to stay put with them, or has had a young person who was eligible for a Staying Put arrangement, please take five minutes to respond to our survey. Everyone who fills in the survey will be given the chance to enter into a free prize draw to win one prize of £50 of Marks and Spencer’s vouchers.

Foster carers' charter

We have now updated our sample foster carers' charter. We would be delighted to hear from any foster carers or fostering services that are in the process of introducing or updating their charter. Look out for an article on charters in Foster Care magazine soon! Please get in touch with us at campaigns@fostering.net on this or indeed any other part of our campaigns work.

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