Our Glasgow-based team work directly with our members throughout Scotland. Through a wide range of events, training, activities, consultations and projects we aim to involve children and young people, foster carers and fostering services in all we do.
We are grateful to the Scottish Government for their funding. Along with the Scottish Government we support the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Fostering in Scotland
Our regular newsletter provides an update on developments and news from across Scotland. To read our latest edition, click here.
See below our current work in Scotland:
- Young Advocates
The Young Advocates project, funded by the Life Changes Trust and the Young Start Fund (delivered by the National Lottery Community Fund), will see young people aged 16-25 with care experience create learning opportunities for teachers and educators around what the day-to-day reality of school or college can be like for them. The young advocates will also train foster carers to help build their awareness of how they can best support the children and young people in their care.
Supported by a steering group, the young advocates will strengthen relationships, raise awareness and reduce stigma within education by creating learning opportunities around what the day-to-day experience of education can be like for children and young people who are care experienced. As part of this group young people will also spend time speaking with foster carers to share, inform and help build greater awareness of how foster carers can best support the children in their care. Click here to find out more.
- Moving On
Our Moving On project supports positive transitions through and out of foster care. Funded by the National Lottery Community the project has been doing this through three areas of focus:
1. emotional wellbeing support for foster carers and their families
2. exploring journeys and change with chidlren and
3. supporting best practice through the Principles of Good Transitions
This project continues and embeds the work of our Keep Connected campaign.
Together, we can support one another to continue to provide the best care for the children in our homes and prepare them for their future.
Want to be involved?
Email Bethany Shelton to get the latest updates on this work and the opportunities available including:
- additional emotional support for foster carers with a trained counsellor
- activity sessions with groups of young people aged 8-15. In these sessions we explore themes around journeys and change and what is important to the young people. If you'd like us to come to a group near you contact Bethany at the email above.
- Fosterline Scotland
Our Fosterline Scotland service can be contacted on 0141 204 1400. You can also email email@example.com. Our Fosterline worker usually works Monday to Friday from 10am until 4pm and is happy to answer a range of fostering related queries and questions.
- Learning and development
Our team of associate trainers regularly deliver our range of popular training courses across the country, available as both ‘in house’ (purchased by and delivered within your fostering service) or ‘open courses’ delivered centrally in Glasgow. Find out more on our training pages or contact Joy Crawford, learning and development co-ordinator, by email or phone 0141 204 1400.
- IVP (Scotland) forum
The Fostering Network facilitates quarterly meetings of the Independent and Voluntary Provider’s (IVP) forum. Independent fostering services that are members of The Fostering Network are invited to attend the forum and feed into practice and strategic discussions and work collectively to improve foster care in Scotland. Forum meetings have input from Scottish Government and the Care Inspectorate and recently the forum has worked with Social Work Scotland to revise and implement the best practice protocol for foster carers transferring between agencies. For further information contact Sara Smith by email or phone 0141 204 1400.
- Fostering panels
We are keen to support fostering services across Scotland to develop their existing fostering panel membership. We hold a database of potential panel members, with a range of experiences and expertise. If you would like to add your details to the fostering panel database, or are looking for new additions to your fostering panel contact Sara Smith by email or phone 0141 204 1400.
The Fostering Network in Scotland received funding from the Big Lottery Fund for a two-year project named Walking Tall. The aim was to consult primary school-aged children on their thoughts about living in foster care. This included both children in foster care and the sons and daughters of foster carers. A children’s participation worker was appointed to co-ordinate the workshops and to work alongside a steering group of volunteers to create an activity book. A disability inclusion co-ordinator was also appointed for six months to make sure that children and young people with disabilities also have the opportunity to have their views heard especially in relation to their care, and that if anything is preventing them from taking part in decisions about their care that this is known.
Through this project we made:
- An activity and discussion book for children and foster carers to talk about fostering and what it means to children.
- A poster for children highlighting some of the key messages from the project.
- A training course for staff working in fostering services as well as for foster carers about how they can also run workshops using the activities we used at the Walking Tall workshops.
- A report summarising the workshops and containing recommendations identified by the children.
Let’s Go Again!
Thanks to funding from the National Lottery’s Awards for All programme we have created a series of six themed booklets encouraging children and young people (and grown ups) to participate in challenges and become a medal winner! On completion of booklets, children and young people are encouraged to send in their booklets to us and in return will receive a certificate to recognise their success.
Arts & Crafts encourages learning a new skill, being creative and making a gift. Fun with Food will involve cooking and health eating challenges, Nature Detectives will focus on discovering wildlife and enjoying the outdoors, Scotland has Talent will engage children in music and drama and Let's Go Festive encourages creativity during the festive winter period. Along with the original Let's Go: Sporting Challenges copies of all booklets are available free of charge - please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0141 204 1400
Fostering Community Champions
Funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s Investing in Communities, Fostering Community Champions in Scotland was an exciting four-year project which started in 2014, that aimed to improve the outcomes of children in care by reducing the isolation experienced by many foster carers and helped young people to use their experience of foster care in a positive and meaningful way.
During the project we trained and supported volunteers, including foster carers and young people.
Our Young Champions included young people aged 15 - 22 who have lived in a fostering household, either as a fostered young person or the son/daughter of foster carers. Young champions were involved in a range of activities to work to remove the stigma of being in foster carer, to inform The Fostering Network's campaigning, give media presentations and be involved in a variety of activities which strengthened their confidence, enabled them to develop transferable skills and improved their ability to develop positive relationships.
Foster carer champions provided much needed support to carers who needed to talk through their thoughts on how to deal with a specific issue in a confidential manner. They provided a sounding board for frustrations, somewhere to discuss the feelings of grief and loss that are part and parcel of being a foster carer and somewhere for carers to debrief after a stressful situation or placement.