Sarah Thomas announced as chief executive of The Fostering Network


The Fostering Network, the UK’s leading fostering charity, announces Sarah Thomas as their new chief executive officer, following an exhaustive recruitment process.  

As a director within the charity’s senior leadership team, Sarah has held responsibility for leading work in Wales and England as well as taking forward the introduction and development of The Fostering Network’s Learning and Development function. 

Since taking up her post as director in November 2021 she has forged strong partnerships with Welsh Government and Foster Wales, as well as building a new UK focused team to deliver a suite of learning options to meet the needs of all foster carers and fostering services. 

Prior to joining The Fostering Network, Sarah was the Service Manager at AFA Cymru (formally BAAF Cymru) from 2019. A qualified social worker, Sarah’s career has spanned a range of roles supporting vulnerable children and families in Wales, including many within fostering teams where she has been able to work closely with some incredible fostering families.  

Sarah has been embedded in the work of the National Fostering Framework in Wales since it commenced, initially as Regional Development Manager and then National Programme Manager, overseeing the development and successful launch of Foster Wales. 

Mervyn Erskine, chair of Trustees, said ‘My colleagues on the board and I are really pleased to confirm Sarah in her new role as chief executive. Her enthusiasm for the organisation and its potential, combined with her in-depth knowledge and experience of the fostering community, made her the standout choice to lead the organisation. 

‘Sarah will be leading The Fostering Network through a challenging and exciting period, with the current focus on fostering across all the governments of the UK. We are confident that Sarah will help steer the organisation positively through these opportunities, helping achieve our aim of making fostering the best it can be for our children.'   

Commenting on her appointment, Sarah Thomas said: ‘It is an immense honour to be appointed as the chief executive of The Fostering Network. As I take up this post I reflect on each and every one of the fostering families and social workers that I have been privileged to work alongside and learn from since I set out as a supervising social worker in 2003. 

‘There have been many developments in the fostering sector since I began my career; legislation, policy and practice move on. It is now more important than ever to ensure that we keep children and young people at the heart of all that we do, to work together to improve outcomes for future generations.’    

Sarah will be reaching out to meet with members and stakeholders over the coming weeks, and she is keen to be as connected as possible to those who we are here to serve and uphold high aspirations for children, families and the fostering sector as a whole. 

If you would like to contact Sarah, please email