In 2016, the then Minister of State for Vulnerable Children and Families, Edward Timpson, announced a national fostering stocktake for England. Sir Martin Narey and Mark Owers have been appointed by the Secretary of State for Education to conduct the stocktake.
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 has 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.