National fostering stocktake (England)

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Sir Martin Narey and Mark Owers were appointed by the Secretary of State for Education to conduct the national fostering stocktake for England during 2017.

As a first step, Sir Martin and Mark issued a call for evidence from all those within the fostering sector (including care experienced young people) about their views on the current state of foster care in England and how the prospects of children in care might be improved through changes to fostering. They wanted to understand what is working well and why, where improvements are needed to achieve better outcomes for children and identify areas where further research is needed.

As well as encouraging our members to respond to the call for submissions and facilitating opportunities for Mark Owers to meet our members, The Fostering Network submitted our own response which we have structured into four interlinked areas:
  • the foster care system, which includes the way in which fostering is commissioned, delivered, regulated and inspected;
  • the foster care workforce, to include the status, role, and function of foster carers;
  • outcomes for children and young people in foster care; and
  • staying put implementation issues.
The stocktake report was published in February 2018, and we recommend that the Government consults widely within the sector before issuing their response to the report.