The Times published a ruling on its inaccurate coverage of a young girl’s fostering arrangement with Muslim foster carers in Tower Hamlets, after the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) upheld a complaint from Tower Hamlets Council about the article from August 2017.

IPSO found that the Times article incorrectly implied that a judge made a decision to remove the girl from the carers’ home because the placement was failing. However, in fact, the local authority had applied to the court for the child to be moved so she could live with her grandmother.

On Saturday there was a detailed article in The Times about kinship carers (behind a paywall) - relatives who care for children that are not their own, usually because their parents aren’t able to care for them. The article highlighted the incredible role that kinship carers play in the lives of tens of thousands of children and young people, as well as some of the major issues facing this group of carers, especially regarding woeful under-resourcing.

Today’s report by the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme highlights the increase in the number of sibling groups being separated in care. The last year has seen a significant rise of almost 50 per cent in the number of brothers and sisters in England (where figures are available) who are not living together even though their plan says they should be. That's almost 2,000 children in England alone who are not experiencing the shared childhood with their siblings that they ought to be.

Responding to the news of a significant rise in the number of fostering-related data breaches in London, Jackie Sanders, communications and public affairs director at The Fostering Network, said: 'It is extremely disappointing to hear about this increase in data breaches. Living with a foster family ought to provide safety and stability to children who so desperately need it. Anything that puts that stability at risk must be challenged.

Following the publication of the report of the fostering stocktake for England, The Fostering Network has written to the Children's Minister, Nadhim Zahawi, to express our disappointment with the report - both its recommendations and its lack of vision and ambition for the future of fostering. In the letter Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network said:

Following the Department for Education’s publication of new national minimum allowance rates for England – applicable from April 2018 – The Fostering Network's chief executive Kevin Williams said: 'The Government has increased foster care allowances for the 2018-19 financial year by only 1.5 per cent, which is not keeping pace with inflation. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is standing at three per cent, and the Retail Price Index (RPI) at 2.7 per cent.

Following today’s publication of the Department for Education’s fostering stocktake report, based on a year of evidence gathering by Sir Martin Narey and Mark Owers, Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network, said:

We are delighted to announce a new partnership with The Mortgage Brain, who ‭are taking over from Endsleigh to provide specialist mortgage advice to our foster ‭carer members and a discounted arrangement fee for a completed mortgage. ‭Advisers at The Mortgage Brain have helped many foster carers secure mortgages ‭over the past five years and they are looking forward to helping our members find ‭the right mortgage for them. 

We welcome Nadhim Zahawi to his new role as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Education. We note with some concern that this is an unpaid position, and truly hope this is not a reflection of the priority placed on the role by this Government. Indeed, it is vital that his appointment marks the start of an increased profile for children's social care as well as a new period of stability within the Department for Education, especially given the importance of 2018 for fostering. We will be seeking a meeting with Mr Zahawi at the earliest opportunity.

The following foster carers received an MBE for services to children and families: Barbara Bower, Arthur Frost, Dorothy Frost, Pearline Howard, Michael Squire, Rachel Squire and Martin Williams.

Margaret Harvey, vice chair of Camden Association of Foster Carers was awarded the same accolade for services to children.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all foster carers for their love, warmth and commitment and the vital support they offer to children every day.