Fostering Excellence is an exciting new programme from The Fostering Network Wales which will deliver a three-year programme (2016 - 2019) of interventions aimed to improve the life chances of looked after children and young people in Wales.
Fostering Excellence is one of a number of innovative programmes run by The Fostering Network.
- Maria Boffey - Head of Operations
- Charlotte Wooders – Fostering Excellence Programme Officer
Sarah Mobedji – Learning and Development Manager
About Fostering Excellence
Fostering Excellence is our new national programme of improvement and support, placing foster carers at the centre of the team around the child. Through our bespoke programme of work, we will improve the experience of looked after children in Wales, support foster carers to provide permanent, stable and aspiring homes, and ensure that looked after children in Wales are able to make a positive and valued contribution to future generations.
We will work with social services, education and with health, recognising that these are the key services that a child or young person will come into almost daily contact with. The programme is structured into seven bespoke areas, matching the needs that foster carers, fostering services, other professionals and looked after children have told us they require greater support on.
The programme will deliver in seven areas of work:
1. Recruitment and retention of foster carers - Fostering Excellence will work closely with local authorities, supporting them to improve recruitment and retention rates, drawing on our successful Values Modes work which focuses on understanding what motivates prospective foster carers to come forward.
2. Implementation of a Foster Carers’ Charter for Wales – The charter sets out mutual roles and responsibilities, which are ‘owned’ by both foster carers and the fostering service. In this way, a framework is created with which to improve the lives of children in care. The programme will enable fostering services to develop their own local charter, so that foster carers get the recognition they deserve and need, to provide children with the best possible care.
Find out more about the Welsh foster carers' charter here.
3. Fostering Achievement masterclasses – Based on recent research into educational needs in wales, Fostering Excellence will deliver masterclasses to foster carers, school staff, social workers and wider professionals across Wales, which will cover specialist topics such as SEN, the impact of attachment on learning, speech, language and communication and ADHD.
Find out more about the masterclass topics here.
4. Thrive: Young Voices, a dedicated magazine for looked after children – Fostering Excellence will work with young people to produce and publish Thrive magazines. Acting as an important form of support for young people in foster care, it also enables young people to have their voices heard.
5. Young people and foster carer ambassadors – Development of Wales’s first ambassador scheme within fostering. The ambassadors will have an important role in offering peer to peer support, promote fostering whilst speaking at events and working with other professionals to have a genuine role in designing and planning fostering services.
Applications are now open to become an ambassador as part of our Fostering Excellence programme in Wales. We are looking for six foster carers and six care experienced young people to represent the voice of fostering across Wales. Please see below for further information.
Apply to become Youth Ambassador.
Apply to become a Foster Carer Ambassador.
6. Fosterline Wales advice line – Now in its eleventh year, Fostering Excellence will build on the success of Fosterline Wales, increasing provision of information, advice, and support by developing a new online information hub. Fosterline Wales is run by The Fostering Network and funded by the Welsh Government. It is an independent and confidential advice line for the public on all matters related to fostering. You can call Fosterline Wales on 0800 316 7664 from 9.30am - 12.30pm Monday to Friday.
7. Training for the whole team around the child - Our training is designed to meet the identified learning and development needs of the team around the child, supporting children and young people in Wales to achieve their best possible outcomes. We are constantly updating and adding to our portfolio of courses for foster carers, social workers and professionals from the education and health sectors. All of our training can be delivered in house for your agency and commissioned jointly or regionally, while our most popular subjects are included in our annual open course events programme.Our highly skilled and experienced associates will also develop bespoke training and consultancy programmes for your organisation.
We are currently working with Social Care Wales, the National Fostering Framework and the ACEs support hub to ensure that all our training meets the requirements of nationally agreed standards and frameworks.