During 2019 our members and supporters contributed to many aspects of our work, including fundraising, campaigning and raising awareness of the transformational power of foster care. Below are a few highlights from the last 12 months.
Foster Care FortnightTM
Foster Care FortnightTM is our annual campaign to raise the profile of fostering and show how foster care transforms lives. The theme of this year's Foster Care Fortnight was how foster care changes futures and this year was our biggest yet!
Our message reached millions of people online through #FCF19 and #changeafuture and we also received more than 1,000 pieces of coverage in the traditional media across the UK. Thank you to everyone who took part and helped show so clearly how fostering changes futures. Join next year from 11-24 May 2020.
Every year we hold our UK-wide Fostering Excellence Awards and our Northern Ireland Foster Care Awards which celebrate outstanding achievements in fostering and recognise those who make exceptional contributions to foster care.
With guests from inside and outside the fostering sector, our 2019 events were huge celebrations of fostering as a whole and some of the amazing children and young people, foster carers, social workers and fostering supporters who are involved every day.
Sons and Daughters
Sons and Daughters Month is The Fostering Network’s annual campaign taking place every October to celebrate the vital contribution the children of foster carers make to successful foster care.
The sons and daughters of foster carers play a crucial role in welcoming fostered children into their families.
As part of the 2019 campaign we ran a competition for children and young people in fostering households with the theme of what #FosteringTeachesYou. Have a look at the winning entries.
Foster Walks are our flagship fundraising events celebrating foster care and raising money to help us continue our work transforming fostered children’s lives. This year we took to the streets of London and Cardiff in our brightest orange dress up. Have a look at some of the photos of the walks.
In 2019 our partners helped us to make foster care the very best it can be, either through sponsorship of our Fostering Excellence Awards, offering bespoke products and services to our members or taking the initiative to raise money to support our work.
In return, our partners have had the chance to meet those involved in fostering, benefitted from promotion on our social media channels and website and involvement in our national campaigns and events.
For more details on a bespoke partnership package please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have several options to offer you if you’re looking to raise money to support our work. There’s something for the thrill-seekers out there, as well as the more risk-sensible among you, in far-flung locations or on your doorstep – it’s completely up to you. Find out more about the ways to fundraise.
Heart FM presenter Pandora Christie played a big role in helping create awareness this Foster Care Fortnight. Pandora discusses how fostering changed her life in this film.
Royal Navy recruit, Louise Dorsett was awarded with the Outstanding Achievement in Education Award in this Year’s Fostering Excellence Awards. In her film she discusses her time in foster care.
We were delighted in the summer when we were asked to consult on the Jess Glynn and Jax Jones music video to their song One Touch. The pair chose to use the video to raise awarenss of fostering, and more specifically The Fostering Network.
Throughout 2019 we have covered important topics, heard from interesting and influential people and brought you the latest updates about our work.
Below are links to just three from that fantastic selection.
The son of foster carers tells us about his experiences growing up in a fostering family.
A foster carer discusses one of the hardest aspects of fostering – the grief of goodbyes.
Relationships are the golden thread that run through a child’s life and through our Keep Connected campaign we think relationships with foster carer must not be an afterthought.
The Mockingbird programme delivers foster care using an extended family model which provides short breaks, peer support, regular joint planning and training, and social activities. This programme has grown significantly since it was successfully piloted in eight English fostering services in 2015-16 and as of September 2019, there are 34 Mockingbird partners across England, Scotland and Wales.
Our award-winning Step Up Step Down project is bringing a pioneering approach to preventing children on the periphery of the care system in Northern Ireland from being taken into care, and instead supporting them to stay in their own homes. The project gives parents the support of a foster carer who can ‘step up’ if the family needs additional support and ‘step down’ when parents are in a better place to support their children.
This year our two-year Walking Tall project in Scotland came to an end. The project provided opportunities for primary school aged children in foster care and the children of foster carers to make their voices heard and enable them to reach their full potential. As a result of the project we produced a range of resources including an activity and discussion booklet and poster. You can also listen to our podcast.
It's essential that we continue to strive to make foster care is the best it can be. Below are three great ways to support our work and raise the profile of fostering.
Join our campaigning list and add your voice to our calls for improvements to fostering across the UK. Whether it’s campaigning for a minimum allowance in Scotland, better implementation of Staying Put in England or ensuring fostered children and young people throughout the UK are encouraged to maintain their important relationships, your support matters.
Make a donation and help fund our work across the UK including: our innovative projects and programmes supporting children and young people; our member helplines offering advice to foster carers and fostering services; our campaigning work, influencing and shaping policy at every level.
Host a community event and raise awareness and money for fostering. Coffee mornings, cheese and wine tasting evenings or a community BBQ are all great way to raise awareness of fostering in your local area and provide an opportunity for those outside of fostering to learn, donate and lend their support. Get in touch and we’ll support you through the whole process.