Since 2011, we have been campaigning for every fostering service to commit to a foster carers’ charter. A charter sets out clear expectations for how foster carers should be treated, trained and supported which is agreed by the corporate parent, fostering service and foster carers. It can help to build understanding between those involved in delivering care to children, promoting more cohesive working in the team around the child and improving experiences and outcomes for children in care.
Our 2021 State of the Nation survey showed that both foster carers and fostering services agree that improving the status of foster carers in the team around the child is the number one thing that will change children’s experience of foster care for the better. Read our full report into foster carer status here.
The Fostering Network’s Foster Carers’ Charter
To ensure that the foster carers’ charter is embedded into everyday practice, The Fostering Network wants to help enable fostering services and foster carers to work together to develop and implement their own local charter. This will help foster carers get the recognition they both deserve and need in order to provide children with the best possible care.
The Fostering Network has developed a Foster Carers’ Charter designed to be used as a template for fostering services to adapt. Every charter should be aspirational to ensure the best outcomes for children and should include all the areas identified in the below charter as a minimum. We would like to hear your feedback and how you have implemented the charter in your local area.
Foster carers, take our campaign action to speak with your fostering service and ask them to work with foster carers to develop and embed a foster carers' charter. If your service already has a charter, ask how the charter is being used in the fostering service and when it is going to next be reviewed in consultation with foster carers. You can find a conversational guide here. If you require any support please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Implementation flowchart
This is a tool for fostering services and placing authorities to use to assess how effectively their charter has been implemented and to support improvements. It includes actions for launching the charter, inducting new people, communicating about the charter and reporting on progress.
- Implementation framework
As part of the Fostering Excellence programme in Wales we developed an implementation framework in 2018 which translates the ideals set out in the charter into concrete actions that can be taken by a wide range of partners to bring about real and measurable improvements in foster care for people across the country. Although developed in the Welsh context, the framework could be used across the UK.
- Implementation toolkit
The toolkit, developed as part of the Fostering Excellence programme in Wales but a useful resource for services anywhere in the UK, supports everyone involved in fostering to successfully and effectively implement the Foster Carer's Charter, both as individuals and in partnership with others.
It focuses specifically on the roles of the corporate parent, councillors, foster carers and fostering services. The toolkit provides an opportunity for everyone involved in implementing the charter to consider each other’s roles as well as their own in more detail, to learn about each other’s responsibilities and to 'challenge' one another with a critical friend approach. This joint ownership approach will help ensure the Foster Carers' Charter moves forward effectively.
Feedback and examples of good practice
We are currently working with our members to ensure they get the right support and information to effectively embed a Foster Carers’ Charter. We are also interested in people’s feedback on our charter and of hearing examples of good practice.
We encourage you to get in touch with us about this by emailing email@example.com.