A new president for The Fostering Network

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As the world’s eyes turn to Washington DC, The Fostering Network is proud to announce the appointment of its own new president here in the UK.

The new appointee is foster carer Libby Thornhill, who takes over the mantle from our current president Jim Bond. Darren Harman-Page will be joining Libby as vice president.

Libby and Darren both have a wealth of experience, not only as foster carers but also from roles in education, local government, the NHS and other foster care organisations. Together they will play an important role raising the profile of fostering and representing The Fostering Network at events and through the media.

Chief executive of The Fostering Network, Kevin Williams, said: ‘I am delighted to welcome Libby and Darren to their roles. We believe that fostering transforms lives and Libby and Darren’s tireless passion and unending support for that belief is inspiring.

‘I look forward to working with both Libby and Darren at our high profile events, membership conferences and stakeholder meetings to raise the profile of fostering and ensure young people in care have a positive experience of family life and the best possible start to adulthood.

‘I would like to extend our gratitude to our previous president Jim Bond who has been a fantastic representative of The Fostering Network for many years. I have no doubt Libby will continue where Jim left off.’

Libby, who along with her husband Michael is approved for long-term fostering and has been looking after two brothers since they started fostering in 2011, said: ‘I am very excited to have been appointed president of The Fostering Network. I very much look forward to gaining a wider view of foster care and using my personal experiences, and those of others, to help raise the profile of fostering. I believe that it’s important to focus not only on the needs of foster carers, but also their immediate families and network of extended family and friends, who all play a vital role in supporting foster carers to look after the children who come to live with them.

‘I am particularly passionate about the impact of social pedagogy, having been part of The Fostering Network’s Head, Heart, Hands programme in Staffordshire, and I am a strong advocate of an holistic approach to care and education.

‘We cannot make children succeed, but we can provide them with what they need to make success possible. We can give them a home and an environment that will help them achieve their best. For children and young people to really achieve, they need to feel proud of themselves. We need to keep reminding them every day of just how brilliant they are.’

Darren, who has fostered since 1995 with his wife Karen, has provided care for a wide variety of children and young people from new born babies to over 18s, said: ‘I am delighted to be able to use my fostering knowledge and my life experience to help me get over to others the realities of fostering, and to highlight the fantastic work of The Fostering Network.’

Read more about Libby and Darren here.