The Fostering Network have been running the Keep Connected campaign since 2015. Through this campaign we hope to create lasting change in the way that local authorities and fostering services plan and support contact between children and their former foster carers.
My name is Jasmine and I wanted to share with you what I have achieved since living with my aunt and uncle. I am 14 years old and have been living with my aunt and uncle for 10 years. Throughout this time I have accomplished a lot of things and have been given many opportunities by The Fostering Network, all of which I am extremely grateful for.
As of 31 March 2020 there were 2,673 children living with foster families in Northern Ireland. Around 35 per cent of those children are in kinship placements. To put it simply a kinship placement is when a child goes to live with a member of their family or close friend who must be approved by their local trust.
Behind those numbers are real people. I am one of them.
Well what a year it’s been!
I did not expect us to be running Foster Care Fortnight virtually for the second year in a row but here we are and as CEO of The Fostering Network I am writing to say a huge thank you for all of your fostering efforts over the last year.
Leah Glenday is the first pupil from her school and the first young person in foster care from the London Borough of Haringey to study at the University of Cambridge. She has also inspired her younger sister, Kia, to pursue big ambitions of her own. We spoke to them both about their academic goals and achievements.
Nick Barnsby is a father of five who spent a decade as a foster carer and had a career dedicated to working with children in care. During the coronavirus pandemic at the age of 61 he wrote his first book, Heroes of Covid-19. He talks about his book and how it was shaped by his experiences.
I had decided from an early age that I loved school. Even though I was bullied, and I never really made friends at school, it was always better than being at home. I loved learning, I loved reading and I loved my teachers. It was my escape.
By Daniel, a young refugee supported by the British Red Cross in Kent.
Kelly exceeded her own beliefs when she left care and was accepted to study Sociology at the University of Sunderland. Since then, she’s gone on to do a master’s degree in Global Human Resource Management at Newcastle University and is now working at the Care Leaver Covenant, supporting care experienced students in further education.
This year marks five years of The Fostering Network’s Mockingbird programme in the UK. To celebrate this milestone we’re speaking to foster carers, young people and staff in services who joined the programme back in 2015 to hear about their experiences and how it feels to be part of a Mockingbird community.