The Fostering Network in Wales is delighted that the new Welsh Government strategy, Raising the Ambitions and Educational Attainment of Children Who Are Looked After, fundamentally focuses on working with foster carers to contribute to improving educational outcomes for looked after children.
The strategy will support foster carers to better understand how the education system works, and to feel better equipped to engage, support, and educationally challenge the children young people in their care. It also calls for foster carers to be viewed as an equal part of the team around the child to ensure they are able to support the ambitions and aspirations of the children in their care.
The strategy is supported by a detailed action plan and the Welsh Government will monitor delivery against the plan on an annual basis.
Maria Boffey, from The Fostering Network in Wales, said: ‘Raising the educational outcomes of fostered children and young people is a priority for The Fostering Network, and we know the vital role that foster carers play as first educators. That is why we are delighted that the Welsh Government has listened, and acted, to ensure that foster carers are empowered and recognised as key in improving educational outcomes for looked after children.
Education minister, Huw Lewis said: “Every single child in Wales - including those who are looked after - has the right to expect an excellent education. We know that good educational attainment can provide the gateway to future stability and can help to secure an independent and fulfilling life, however we also know that outcomes for looked after children rarely compare favourably with other children.
“In developing this strategy we have worked closely with partners such as The Fostering Network, Voices From Care, and Cardiff University’s Research Centre, Cascade to ensure it reflects the views and experiences of both children in care and foster carers. Their input has been invaluable and I would like to thank them for their hard work and contribution.
“The publication of this strategy is just the first step in our work to ensure sustained improvements in outcomes for looked after children and we will continue to work closely with our partners to make this ambition a reality.”
You can download the strategy from the Welsh Government website.