The Fostering Network today announced the launch of the new Fostering Wellbeing programme in partnership with Cwm Taf Social Services and Wellbeing Partnership Board.
This new innovative programme will help foster carers and all those who work with fostered children and young people to understand and respond holistically to the child, recognising that good relationships are central to promoting social, physical and emotional wellbeing.
The aim is to recognise foster carers as a key part of the education team as well as improving engagement, knowledge and confidence among carers, social workers and health and education professionals. The programme will encourage aspiration and ambition among fostered young people as well as shared values among all those involved with looked after children.
The Fostering Network will work with Cwm Taf Social Services and Wellbeing Partnership Board, which brings together Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil local authorities with Cwm Taf health board, to pilot the programme for two years in the region. Elements of the programme include service support, regional themed masterclasses and recruitment of Fostering Wellbeing champions.
Fostering Wellbeing is funded by Welsh Government and combines social pedagogy principles with education focused activities, taking learning from The Fostering Network’s successful Head, Heart, Hands and London Fostering Achievement programmes.
Colin Turner, director of The Fostering Network in Wales said: ‘Improving outcomes for looked after children and young people is central to everything that The Fostering Network does. We know that when foster carers and the other professionals in the lives of looked after children work well together, outcomes improve. Fostering Wellbeing is the latest in a number of important programmes that we run in Wales, and we very much look forward to working with Cwm Taf to take the learning from other programmes The Fostering Network has run and seeking to apply them in that part of South Wales.’
Gareth Chapman, chief executive of Merthyr Tydfil Council, said: ‘We are delighted to be taking part in this exciting pilot. In Cwm Taf, we are passionate about the potential that can be achieved for young people when foster carers are equipped with the right information, skills and support.
‘Being part of this pilot represents an opportunity for foster carers, young people and professionals to shape and influence new developments that will underpin stability and success for looked after young people here in Cwm Taf and across Wales.’
Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children, Carl Sargeant said: ‘As part of the work of the Improving Outcomes for Children Ministerial Advisory Group, I’m pleased we are working with The Fostering Network to explore the impact of a holistic approach to caring for children which combines education and care.
‘This is an exciting and innovative project, promoting partnership across boundaries to put the child’s wellbeing at its heart.’