Responding to the latest looked after children statistics from the Department for Education in England, Jackie Sanders, director of policy at The Fostering Network, said: ‘Having campaigned for a change in legislation to allow fostered young people to stay living with their foster carers until the age of 21, we are pleased that these latest figures show a continued rise in young people “staying put”. However, there is still plenty of room for growth.

Foster carers, their sons and daughters and care experienced young people are among the worthy winners at this year’s Fostering Excellence Awards, run by leading charity The Fostering Network.

The Fostering Excellence Awards, supported by bed specialists Dreams, are the UK's leading foster care awards, and celebrate excellence and outstanding achievement in fostering. Awards are presented to foster carers, their sons and daughters and social workers for their outstanding contributions to foster care, as well as to care experienced young people for their achievements.

Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network, said: ‘The Fostering Network has, for many years, been concerned that young people who are leaving care are not sufficiently prepared for independence. Therefore, we welcome The Children’s Society report, The Cost of Being Care-Free, and particularly the call for financial better education for young people in care.

Responding to the Westminster Government’s response to The House of Commons Education Committee's report, Mental Health and Wellbeing Among Looked After Children, Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network, said:

Clause 8 of the Children and Social Work Bill expands the information that courts must have in the care plan when deciding whether to make a care order for a child. 

Fostering Achievement has been running since 2007 and provides bespoke educational support and resources to looked after children living with foster families in Northern Ireland.

The programme’s impact is increasingly apparent in improved outcomes for young people. Of those GCSE students who received tuition from Fostering Achievement in 2014, almost twice as many gained five or more A*-C grades compared to the general looked after child population.