Step Up Step Down (SUSD) is a pioneering approach in Northern Ireland to support families on the edge of care. It demonstrates a reduction in the numbers of children coming into care, and improved outcomes for children and families. 

Anne’s family joined SUSD in Spring 2022 – she shares how being referred to the programme ‘changed everything’ and helped her through the most difficult time in her life. 

By louiseventon on May 12th, 2023

When organisations come together with a shared purpose, some fantastic things can happen. That’s what Liverpool City Council fostering service and their local John Lewis store have set out to do, as the Council aims to recruit more foster carers in the city. We hear from Liverpool’s fostering team about their joint efforts and plans for the

By louiseventon on May 12th, 2023

Courtney is a care experienced young person who nominated her foster carers, Pauline and Jimmy, for the Northern Ireland Foster Care Awards last June. She explains how their unwavering support helped heal her past and give her hope for the future 

By louiseventon on May 12th, 2023

Mervyn Erskine is chair of trustee's at The Fostering Network and a full-time foster carer. He kicks off Foster Care Fortnight™ with a special thanks to everyone in our #FosteringCommunities and shares his feelings about being part of the community himself 

By louiseventon on May 10th, 2023

We were pleased to see that the Government’s recent strategy in response to the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care provided the biggest investment in fostering into date. It also outlined changes which will make an immediate difference to the lives of children and young people in foster care, such as the above inflationary increase to the national minimum allowance.  

Despite these positive changes, we feel that there are still things missing from the strategy that need to be addressed which will have our continued focus. In this blog, we pull out the key things missing that our members have called for from the start of the review.  

By Eve Hatcher on May 4th, 2023

Fiona has been fostering for over six years now, after originally seeing an advert on television years before she decided to seriously consider the role. Fiona speaks about her experiences of fostering and how the support she receives helps her to be the best foster carer she can be. 

By louiseventon on March 10th, 2023

At The Fostering Network, we always want to know what our members are experiencing to help make improvements in foster care and shine a light on practice that is working well. We speak with you via our helplines, forums and at events. We also occasionally gather your views through surveys.

In this blog, Daisy Elliott, our research and evidence manager explains why collecting evidence is important to influence policy change and make a real difference to the lives of children and young people, and those that support them.

By Daisy Elliott on February 21st, 2023

By Jacqui Shurlock and Vicki Swain, joint head of policy and campaigns. 

Following the publication of the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care in England in May 2022, the Government published yesterday their strategy for the reform of children’s social care: Stable Homes, Built on Love.  

The headlines were covered by the press yesterday and you can see The Fostering Network’s press notice here. This blog outlines our initial thoughts in more detail. 

By Vicki-tfn on February 3rd, 2023

By Jacqui Shurlock and Vicki Swain – joint head of policy and campaigns 

Last year we asked you to share your views on the final report of the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care in England. You did so through our care review survey, at focus groups and in forum meetings. Thank you to everyone who got involved.   

We have produced a series of blogs which summarise your feedback, with this final blog focusing on allegations. This was an area you felt was missing from the independent review and with such importance, we felt it deserved a blog of its own.  

This piece features the views of the 665 foster carers who responded to our survey or attended our forums and consultation events. It also includes feedback from our State of the Nation 2021 survey of 3,352 foster carers. 

By Vicki-tfn on January 13th, 2023

Ettie is 30 years old and runs her own business: a children’s clothing line called Wexbaby. For Ettie, it is a way to celebrate her French roots and give back to her foster carers for all they have done for her and her sister Sally. Read her story here. 

By louiseventon on January 4th, 2023