The Fostering Network is delighted to be leading the Confidence in Care consortium of six charities and academic bodies which has been awarded £4.75 million from the Big Lottery Fund to deliver a five year programme aiming to improve the life chances of looked after children across Wales.
Confidence in Care will transform outcomes for looked after children in Wales over the next five years and influence the way children’s social care is delivered across the country for many more years to come. This will primarily be achieved through the training of 1,500 foster, kinship and residential carers using the Fostering Changes Programme.
Fostering Changes, developed by a team at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, is an evidence based training course for carers, empowering them to better manage the children and young people they are looking after. The course is behaviourally based and derives from research into parenting skills, attachment, educational attainment and the academic progression of looked after children in care.
Led by The Fostering Network Wales, the programme will be delivered in partnership with Action for Children, Barnardo’s, The British Association for Adoption and Fostering Cymru and The Adolescent and Children’s Trust. The programme will be independently evaluated by The Children’s Social Research and Development Centre at Cardiff University (CASCADE), and will be working closely with Association of Directors of Social Services Cymru and Children in Wales.
Dr Emily Warren, director of The Fostering Network Wales, said: “This is the biggest project of its kind ever to have been undertaken in Wales. As a group of organisations delivering this work, we will be working towards developing a more positive outlook in young people towards their education and future career goals, increasing their resilience and life skills, and then using robust learning and evaluation evidence to influence future policy development in Wales.
“The scale of this programme of work really reflects the ambition of the sector as a whole to improve the lives of the children and young people in care in Wales. Our aim is that Confidence in Care will transform outcomes for looked after children in Wales over the next five years and influence the way children’s social care is delivered in most settings across the country for many more years to come.”
Big Lottery Fund Wales Chair Sir Adrian Webb said: “Children and young people in care are especially vulnerable group as they often experience multiple and complex transitions. For example, they may change foster carers or care homes frequently, particularly if they have complex emotional and psychological needs that are not being addressed properly.
“This funding is a golden opportunity to make a positive difference to lives of children and young people in care in Wales.”