Too little progress has been made over the last two years tackling some of the most significant issues impacting on Scotland’s foster families and the children they care for, and the Scottish Government should take immediate action to remedy this, The Fostering Network is warning today with the publication of its State of Scotland’s Foster Care report.
As part of our Foster Care FortnightTM 2019 campaign, we held a reception at the Scottish Parliament with children from our Walking Tall project, alongside their foster carers and social workers. We were delighted to be joined by the children’s minister, Maree Todd and the children’s commissioner, Bruce Adamson. We received an apology from the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, however, a few days later we were delighted to receive an invitation to her official residence, Bute House.
Hollie George, 24, will receive The Fostering Network in Northern Ireland’s inaugural President’s Award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to foster care. The award will be presented on Friday 17 May at Malone House, Belfast.
Reflecting on her experience of foster care from the age of nine, Hollie is clear her foster carers, Trevor and Heather, changed her future for the better.
In response to the article in today’s Daily Record highlighting a call for the requirement for prospective foster carers to have a spare room to be scrapped, Sara Lurie, director of The Fostering Network in Scotland said:
Over 8,500 foster families are needed across the UK over the next year according to new figures published today (Monday 13 May) by the UK’s leading fostering charity.
Following the publication of the Department for Education’s Outcomes for children looked after by local authorities: 31 March 2018 report, chief executive of The Fostering Network, Kevin Williams, said: ‘It is heartening to see that these figures support previous research from the University of Oxford that care can have a positive impact on the education of some looked after
Responding to the BBC article ‘Thousands of teenagers in care living without adults’, Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network, said: ‘I am shocked at the number of looked after children living independently in England, especially those under 16.
The Fostering Network is today launching its Keep Connected principles which it hopes will become embedded in the practice of children’s services, with the aim of all children and young people who are moving on from foster families to be enabled to keep in touch with them – and with other significant people in their lives.
The Fostering Network warmly welcomes the announcement by the Minister for Children and Young People in Scotland, Maree Todd MSP, that there are plans to strengthen the law in relation to keeping brothers and sisters together when they are placed in care when it is in their interest to do so.
Step Up Step Down aims to prevent children who are on the periphery of the care system from being taken into care, enabling them to stay with their families at home instead. The programme is currently delivered to families in Northern Ireland and provides them with support by highly trained and experienced foster carers who offer bespoke, preventative support care for 12 - 15 months.