The Fostering Network has responded to the House of Commons Education Committee Report on Fostering in England. The report follows an inquiry that began back in October 2016. For the report, The Fostering Network produced both written and oral evidence and they played a vital role in convincing the committee that an inquiry was needed.
The report has been welcomed by The Fostering Network. Kevin Williams, the chief executive of The Fostering Network has responded, and the information is freely available on their website. It is hoped that many of the recommendations will be reflected in the Governments fostering stocktake. Furthermore, The Fostering Network have stated that they are in agreement with the conclusion that states that the government should perform a full care system review instead of considering all of the elements of the system separately.
Many of the recommendations made by The Fostering Network have been included, such as:
- The need for all foster carers to have an allowanced that covers all costs
- More funding to make staying put work
- Recognising foster carers and child care experts that are an equal part of the team
- Access to whistleblowing legislation
Additionally, the following is evidence that the committee has paid close attention to the recommendations made by the sector.
- Importance of listening to children
- Foster carers to be provided with more information about the children
- Improved matching
- Improved placement stability
- Improved support
The report included a call for consultation surrounding a national college for foster carers. While this is welcomed by The Fostering Network, there is some confusion as this is not consistent with the statements made regarding foster carers not being classified as professionals.
The Fostering Network recognises the importance of raising awareness for the need of more foster carers. They help drive awareness with Foster Care Fortnight, something we support each year. However, they do point out that recruitment is best performed locally and that the fostering services need to know who they are looking for to improve their own targeting. Additionally, foster families require proper payment, which isn’t included in the report.
Learn more by reading the full response over on The Fostering Network website.