Fostering Potential

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Fostering Potential programme aims to raise the educational outcomes of fostered children by increasing foster carers’ knowledge and confidence in their role as ‘first educators’.

Fostering Potential is funded by the Sir John Cass Foundation and the British & Foreign School Society, with the aim of supporting the educational outcomes of children who are currently in foster care. This programme builds on the successful London Fostering Achievement programme and also on work carried out under the London Schools Excellence Fund.

Programme approach 

Fostering Potential creates an educational peer support network in each local area, delivered by experienced foster carers in the role of Education Champions.

Education Champions work closely with other foster carers to increase their skills and confidence in their role as educators, sharing approaches and practical tools to support children’s learning and development.  Work is carried out via home visits, one-to-one meetings or by attending support groups. The project work may also be supported by additional training and events hosted by the fostering service or by the virtual school. 

Project partners

The Fostering Network is currently working in partnership with the following local authority fostering services: 

  • The London Borough of Islington
  • The London Borough of Tower Hamlets
  • The Royal Borough of Greenwich
  • The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham
  • Kent County Council
  • Suffolk County Council
  • Nottingham City Council
 

Evaluation Report

The Fostering Network has published an initial evaluation report on the first phase of the programme, covering the programme planning phase and the first phase of project delivery from September 2018 until July 2019.  The aims of the evaluation were to:
 
  • Report on project implementation and activity
  • Report on impact at foster carer, child and service level
  • Explore barriers, challenges and enablers to project implementation.

 

The full report and summary are available below.

Initial evaluation report

Summary

Project delivery is ongoing and a supplementary report will be published before the end of the programme period in April 2020. 

Learning Event

A Fostering Potential learning event took place on 4th March 2020 at the Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre in London, attended by foster carers, social workers and staff from virtual schools. Sessions included:

 

A speaker from King's College London was unable to attend but please see the Propel website for information about support for care-experienced young people in Higher Education.

If you attended the learning event please complete the online survey as we do appreciate your feedback.

Fostering Potential webinars

The Fostering Potential programme has been supported by a series of free online webinars, with the aim of sharing research evidence and best practice with foster carers.  Presentations and audio recordings from the webinars are below:

Webinar 1 - Introduction

Introduction - Susan Soar, The Fostering Network

 

Webinar 2 - Education research evidence

Research Evidence - Professor Judy Sebba, the University of Oxford REES Centre 

Listen to this webinar

 

Webinar 3 - Barriers to achievement

Barriers to Achievement and Possible Solutions - Laura Stagg, Achievement for All

STEEP document

Laura Stagg also recommended Developing an Attachment Aware Behaviour Regulation Policy by Brighton & Hove City Council.

Listen to this webinar

 

Webinar 4 - Maths, myths and mindsets

Maths, Myths and Mindsets - Ben Perkins, National Numeracy

Foster carers are encouraged to acess the Family Maths Toolkit and use the Maths Challenge materials to support adult numeracy (age 14+).

Listen to this webinar

 

Webinar 5 - Studying medicine

Studying Medicine - Michelle Sebele, medical student and care leaver

These slides will be helpful to any foster carer whose fostered child or young person might be aspiring to higher education in the future.

Listen to this webinar

 

Webinar 6 - Higher education

Higher Education - Sam Turner, Become

These slides outline how to support care-experienced students to and through higher education, including tips for foster carers.

Listen to this webinar

 

Webinar Support

Webinar support documents are available below:

 

Please note that you need to use Google Chrome as your browser to access webinars. 

 

Contact

If you are a foster carer in one of the participating areas contact your fostering service for more details.  For all other Fostering Potential enquiries please email the project manager on susan.soar@fostering.net.

 

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