Round up of Foster Care Fortnight™ 2023 highlights

We share a few of the highlights of Foster Care Fortnight™ 2023 

There was huge buzz around Foster Care Fortnight 2023, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. With fostering services throughout the UK celebrating the incredible difference foster care makes, a trip to 10 Downing Street, the announcement of major new Fostering Friendly Employers, more than 600 pieces of national news coverage, this year’s campaign was one of our biggest yet.

Here are just a few of the highlights.

Political engagement

We’re extremely proud of the impact Foster Care Fortnight has had on Governments across all four nations over the past two weeks, and it’s been amazing for foster carer to have the opportunity to share their experiences with politicians.

  • Our team in Wales visited the Senedd for a meeting with Julie Morgan MS, Deputy Minister for Social Services and Albert Heaney, Chief Social Care Officer. 
  • In Northern Ireland, The Fostering Network launched Foster Care Fortnight in partnership with HSC NI Adoption and Foster Care at the parliament buildings in Stormont. The event was hosted by Robbie Butler, MLA, and Peter Toogood, Deputy Permanent Secretary for the Department of Health spoke to the audience and pledged his commitment to foster care. 
  • Our Scotland team met with Natalie Don MSP, Minister for Children, Young People and Keeping The Promise. They also attended a parliamentary debate raised by Rona Mackay MSP, who pledged for parliament to consider becoming a foster friendly employer and encourage other organisations to follow suit.
  • Our team in England visited 10 Downing Street with a group of amazing foster carers, who spoke with the Children’s Minister Claire Coutinho MP and Secretary of State for Education, Gillian Keegan.

The Fostering Network team and foster carers gather outside 10 Downing Street


Fostering Friendly Employers

Throughout Foster Care Fortnight some incredible companies joined our Fostering Friendly Employers scheme, ensuring their foster carer employees feel supported to provide a stable home environment for a child. John Lewis Partnership, insurance provider Admiral and the UK’s biggest theme park Alton Towers, and a number of local authorities are just a few of the organisations that launched their Fostering Friendly policy over the fortnight.

This is a massive step forward for fostering, and we are so grateful to have them all on board.

Foster Walk 2023

Hundreds of people throughout the UK racked up some steps in the sunshine as part of the annual Foster Walk. Now in its 10th year, the sponsored walk invites people to come together to fundraise, raise awareness, and celebrate everyone in their #FosteringCommunities.

This year around 700 people taking part from  all four nations, from Jersey to Scotland, raising thousands of pounds. We saw some people combine their Foster Walk efforts with their local Park Run, while Foster Wales took Foster Walk to new heights, by completing the Welsh three peaks challenge.

Over in London, teams in the Royal Borough of Greenwich local authority walked 70,000 steps, one for every child in care in the UK. 

We’ve absolutely loved seeing the pictures of the innovative ways people have taken on the Foster Walk, and are incredibly grateful to everyone who has taken part over the past decade and contributed to making it the event it is today. 

  Greenwich fostering teams take part in the Foster Walk

Highlights throughout the UK

In England, we launched our report on the retention and recruitment of foster carers. This was attended by Claire Couthino MP and Chair of John Lewis Partnerships Sharon White. Our membership engagement team visited fostering services activities, including Derby City Council's annual ‘Fosterval’ – a free festival dedicated to celebrating the incredible dedication of everyone in our fostering communities. Everyone enjoyed burgers, pizzas and ice cream and were offered a range of activities, from a wellbeing tent and music activities, to sports and a treasure hunt. Over in Stoke on Trent, the city council held their annual foster carers celebration day, where they invited more than 100 foster carers to come together and thank them for their contributions to fostering.

Northern Ireland
As well as our successful launch, teams in spent Foster Care Fortnight hosting events for over 300 people in foster and kinship families. This included two family fun days, several coffee mornings and yoga and wellbeing sessions. Fostering Attainment and Achievement staff also held Wild about Learning sessions for children in primary school and Pathways to University days for teenagers. In Step Up Step Down there were celebrations with families including a party to close Dinosaur Club. 

Foster Care Fortnight was incredibly busy in Scotland, with the team holding activities almost every day during the fortnight. To close Foster Care Fortnight we had 250 people from fostering families gathered at Blair Drummond Safari Park and met with MSP Natalie Don, Minister for Children, Young People and Keeping The Promise. They celebrated the work of the Moving on Project, supporting positive transitions through and out of foster care, and enjoyed a fun-filled day at the park. An incredible end to a series of fantastic events held in Scotland to mark Foster Care Fortnight. 

Our team in Wales travelled to all corners of the country to spread the word of Foster Care Fortnight far and wide, stretching from Neath Port Talbot to Flintshire. Some of the highlights include afternoon tea with Fostering Wellbeing pioneers in Neath Port Talbot, providing an opportunity to thank them for all their support in growing the programme in their region. They also joined foster carers in at the foot of Snowdon to take part in the Foster Walk, where they met with more Wellbeing Pioneers to chat about the amazing peer support that’s in place across their local authority area.

Innovative ideas

We can’t let Foster Care Fortnight come to a close without acknowledging some of the incredibly fun and creative ways people have chosen to promote fostering. The Parks and Green Spaces team at North Lincolnshire Council replanted one of their flowerbeds to spell out ‘Fostering’ – a super creative way to highlight fostering to passers by.

Sticking with the floral theme,  pupils at Ebbw Fawr Learning Community School joined together to form an outline of a daisy. It was a fantastic effort which took a lot of logistical planning from everyone involved – and the end result was just brilliant and brightened up our social media timelines. 

Last but not least – Foster for Bradford teamed up with their local train station, Bradford Forster Square to temporarily change its name to Bradford FOSTER Square. The signage directed people to an information board highlighting why the station’s name and changed, sharing information about Foster Care Fortnight.

  Pupils form outline of a daisy

It’s been so fantastic to see how people are going the extra mile to share the news about fostering. We’ve had a brilliant two weeks and we are so grateful for everyone throughout the UK who has taken part. 


Bradford Forster Square Station changes signage to Bradford FOSTER Square