The Fostering Network carries out surveys with members, studies existing research and consults with stakeholders so that we understand the issues and challenges facing foster care, as well as what is working. We publish and promote reports which help to shape our policy, campaigns and practice work.
EU Nationals: Foster Carers and Fostered Children - 2018
Following on from the Government initiating the official EU withdrawal process in March 2017, there was – and continues to be – much speculation as what would happen to EU nationals who were currently residing in the UK. The Fostering Network received enquiries from fostering services worrying about approving people as foster carers who were non-UK EU nationals, and also about the long-term stability of placing fostered children with foster carers who were non-UK EU nationals.
The Fostering Network made a series of FOIs to local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales, in an attempt to establish the impact on foster carers and fostered children.
The impact of austerity measures on fostered children and the families that care for them - 2016
National Fostering Framework Wales: Phase one report – 2016
The National Fostering Framework Wales foster care allowances and payments survey 2016-17: A report by The Fostering Network Wales
The Fostering Framework in Wales Phase One report identified the payment of foster care allowances and fees as a key issue. It was recognised that the current pattern across Wales would present particular challenges but that these should not be ignored.
As part of the Phase Two development of the National Fostering Framework, The Fostering Network was commissioned by the strategic advisory group for the National Fostering Framework to undertake a survey of local authorities 2016-17 foster carer payment structures across Wales.
The subsequent report has demonstrated the scale of inequality of financial arrangements for foster carers across Wales, in particular in relation to fees.
The Cost to Foster Carers of Providing Accommodation for Fostering – 2015
Until now there has been little investigation into the costs that foster carers bear in order to provide the extra accommodation space that their fostered children require, or the implication on foster carer recruitment and retention.
This groundbreaking new research by Professor Tunstall at the University of York, commissioned by The Fostering Network, is an important first step in increasing our understanding of the issue, and in helping the fostering sector consider what might be the policy implications affecting matters such as allowances and grants to foster carers, and the allocation of social housing.
What is Needed to Enable Looked After Children to Achieve in Education – 2015
This report was commissioned by the Welsh Government, and explores the views of foster carers in Wales regarding what they believe is needed to raise the ambitions and educational outcomes of the young people in their care. It follows consultations and a survey with foster carers carried out by The Fostering Network.
The report highlights the role of foster carers as first educators for the young people they are caring for, and the desire of foster carers to be increasingly involved in their fostered children’s education.
Understanding the Educational Experiences and Opinions, Attainment, Achievement and Aspirations of Looked After Children in Wales – 2015
Commissioned by the Welsh Government, this report by The Children’s Social Care Research and Development Centre (CASCADE) explores the experiences and attainment of looked after children in Wales. The research, which included focus groups with looked after children conducted by The Fostering Network, reports issues at each stage of a young person’s educational journey, including those arising from stigma and placement and school instability.
Why Foster Carers Care, Part I – 2013, Part II – 2015
Understanding what motivates foster carers to come forward is an essential tool in both recruiting and retaining the future foster carer workforce.
To explore the psychology behind foster carers’ motivation, The Fostering Network partnered with consultancy iMPOWER, to use the pyschographic categorisation tool, Values Modes™, in a survey of foster carers to identify any trends in foster carers' intrinsic personalities.
Why Foster Carers Care reports the outcome of the research, funded by the Department for Education, including unprecedented findings in the history of the Values Modes™ theory and its application in helping fostering services recruit and retain foster carers.
The Why Foster Carers Care Part II report follows the research on the motivations and values gained from the first report, again funded by the Department for Education. Foster carers approved from 1 April 2013 were surveyed to test a range of hypotheses and compare their motivations to foster and Values Modes™ with the overall foster carer cohort surveyed in 2013.
Both reports have powerful implications for the recruitment and retention of foster carers across the UK.
State of the Nation 2014
The results are a snapshot of the views of foster carers in 2014. This report highlights the key findings and makes recommendations for the changes that need to happen to ensure that all fostered children are given the best possible care and helped to fulfil their potential. Read the 2014 report.
Fostering in Wales: Who Cares and Why? – 2013
In 2013 the Welsh Government funded The Fostering Network to research the values of foster carers in Wales to assist fostering services in their recruitment and retention activity.
Fostering in Wales: Who Cares and Why uses Values Modes™ theory, a psychographic profiling tool that identifies an individual’s core values and beliefs.
Making Not Breaking – Building Relationships for our Most Vulnerable Children – 2013
The Care Inquiry (England) was a group of eight charities, including The Fostering Network, exploring how best to achieve stability and a positive sense of identity and belonging for children in care and those raised by family members as an alternative to care. The Inquiry examined evidence submitted at three formal sessions, with a report of the findings, Making Not Breaking, published in spring 2013.
The Cost of Foster Care
Undertaken by Lisa Holmes and Jean Soper of the Centre for Child and Family Research, Loughborough University, this report is a supplement to The Cost of Foster Care (2005), updating the estimates of the investment needed to provide a properly resourced foster care service throughout the UK.
The calculations of costs and investment needed were revised to take account of new information and changes in monetary values.