Fostering Achievement is a well-established project in Northern Ireland that offers practical support to foster families to help fostered children and young people achieve their potential and improve educational outcomes.
Fostering Achievement is The Fostering Network Northern Ireland’s flagship programme and is one of a range of innovative programmes that The Fostering Network runs to improve foster care and outcomes for fostered young people.
For media enquiries regarding Fostering Achievement email The Fostering Network's media team or phone 020 7620 6425.
About Fostering Achievement
Fostering Achievement is a universal programme of activity that works in partnership with all five statutory Health and Social Care Trusts and independent fostering providers in Northern Ireland. It is commissioned by the Health and Social Care Board with some additional funding from the Department of Education for Northern Ireland and delivered by The Fostering Network, to provide bespoke educational support and resources to looked after children living with foster families.
Working with foster carers as primary educators, Fostering Achievement aims to improve the educational outcomes of children and young people in foster care through the provision of a wide range of educational supports and resources, including one to one tuition, driving lessons and provision of IT equipment to support a child’s educational and personal development. This also includes the funding of extra-curricular and personal development activities such as music lessons and sports coaching, as well as providing the necessary equipment.
In addition, the scheme offers a full programme of summer activities including Primary Summer Schemes which encourage learning in a fun way, Teen Adventure activity based residential programmes and university taster residentials to encourage aspiration.
Fostering Achievement recognises the crucial role that foster carers play in encouraging and supporting fostered children and young people to gain a sense of achievement and to reach their potential. The scheme also offers all foster carers additional tailored support and training to assist them in helping to improve the educational outcomes for these children.
A celebratory event is held in each Trust each year in partnership with Fostering services to recognize the achievements of children in foster care in that Trust. The children all receive a certificate of achievement and a small token of appreciation. In 2013/14 almost 1000 people attended these events.
The Letterbox Club is an initiative aimed at improving the literacy and numeracy skills of children in care. It is operated by Fostering Network and Booktrust. Membership is open to children in Primary 4 and Primary 6. This also includes adopted children in this age range. Each child gets a personally tailored pack of reading and maths games posted directly to the child monthly. An extension programme of Letterbox Family Activity Days is available to families throughout the year which also focuses on building literacy and numeracy capacity.
We were delighted that Northern Ireland education minister, Peter Weir, visited one of our Fostering Achievement Primary Summer Schemes in August 2016, and this was followed by the scheme featuring on BBC News NI.
Fostering Achievement celebrated its tenth anniversary in January 2017, with a celebration event 'Aspire, Achieve, Succeed' held at Stormont. The photo below is of Angela, a care leaver who has benefited from Fostering Achievement along with Kathleen Toner, director of The Fostering Network Northern Ireland and former director Kate Lewis.
The Fostering Network has been delivering Fostering Achievement in Northern Ireland since 2007 and the impact of the programme is increasingly apparent in improved outcomes for young people. Of those young people in receipt of tuition from Fostering Achievement and taking GCSEs in 2016, more than twice as many gained five or more A*-C grades compared to the general looked after child population.
Download an impact infographic here.