Welcome to the November campaigns blog. This has been a really busy month for the campaigns team!
Having persuaded the Education Committee to launch an inquiry into foster care in England, we have been busy preparing two pieces of written evidence to them: one on foster care in general, and another addressing issues around the implementation of ‘staying put’. The next stage will be oral evidence, which we hope to be invited to give evidence at in the new year.
A lot of the inspiration for the written evidence came from the 2016 State of the Nation’s Foster Care survey. We have nearly finished analysing this huge amount of data, and the report will be published early next year. Thank you again if you were one of the 2,530 foster carers across the UK who took the time to tell us about your experiences of fostering. Information like this is crucial – it helps us to really be the voice of foster care and to help bring change that will make foster care better.
Talking of surveys, our Staying Put submission was partly informed by a survey of foster carers. We are also surveying local authorities so if you work for a local authority fostering service we really would like to hear your views on this important new duty for fostering services.
The Children and Social Work Bill has now completed its time in the Lords and gone over to the House of Commons. Previously we lobbied for improvements to safeguard long-term foster care and relationships with former foster carers, and are now preparing our lobbying strategy for this next phase of the Bill.
We have been keeping up the pressure on the Scottish Government to introduce a national minimum foster care allowance. This has resulted in some excellent press coverage in Huffington Post and The Guardian. Also, so far two-thirds of MSPs have been emailed by their constituents regarding the urgency of the Scottish Government introducing and funding minimum allowances. If you live in Scotland and are yet to contact your MSP, why not take part too? It’ll only take a few minutes and will make a big difference as we aim to make foster care fair for everyone in across the UK.