Having been successful in achieving recognition of the need for official national minimum rates, The Fostering Network will not be making further recommendations on the levels of fostering allowances from the beginning of the financial year 2016-17, after many years of making such recommendations. Instead we will now take on the role of critiquing national minimum recommendations and influencing local decision-making about the setting of allowances.
In light of the ongoing refugee crisis that is affecting children, particularly from Syria, The Fostering Network is calling for more people to come forward and consider becoming a foster carer.
Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network, said: “When children from throughout the world arrive alone in the UK, it is approved foster carers who offer them homes and security, with the support of their local authority and fostering service.
The Fostering Network is delighted that one of our ground breaking programmes of work with children and foster carers has been nominated for two Children and Young People Now awards.
London Fostering Achievement is focused on raising the aspirations and educational outcomes of fostered children in London. The programme recognises the crucial roles played by foster carers and schools and brings them together with social workers to take part in training workshops, masterclasses and much more.
In response to the release of an analysis of staying put so far by the Department for Education, Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network, said:
“The Fostering Network led the campaign for children and young people to have the opportunity to stay with their foster carers beyond their 18th birthday, therefore we were delighted when the Government introduced the staying put legislation in 2014.
In response to the publication of the report from the Fatal Accident Inquiry into the tragic death of foster carer Dawn McKenzie, director of The Fostering Network Scotland Sara Lurie said:
'This unimaginable tragedy must provide the sector with learning; we support Sheriff Bicket’s thorough report and recommendations, and will be sharing them with fostering services across the UK.
A directory of case studies and support discussing the recruitment and retention of foster carers, aimed at both independent and local authority fostering services, has been released following a two year programme, part run by The Fostering Network, and funded by the Department for Education.
The Fostering Network is saddened to hear that the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) has closed as of 31 July 2015.
Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network, said: 'It is with a heavy heart that I must say a final thank you and congratulations to BAAF for their enormous contribution to the lives of children and young people and their journey through care and beyond.
The Fostering Network is calling on local authority and independent fostering services in England to complete the 2015 Fostering Service Performance Benchmark to provide statistical analysis and invaluable data comparisons against that of fostering services throughout the country.
Our elected trustees need to be passionate about improving foster care for children and young people in the UK, and about The Fostering Network and its role. But beyond that they need to bring skills and experience which enable them to govern a large, successful and complex charity and membership organisation like The Fostering Network.
The Fostering Network welcomes the publication of The National Audit Office report: Care Leavers' Transition to Adulthood, and its scrutiny by the Commons Public Accounts Committee, as it reinforces the need for adequate investment in our social services throughout England.