The UK’s leading fostering charity has today published a report calling for tailored transition arrangements for children in foster care on their return to school, and for the primary focus of the initial return to school to be on students’ mental health and wellbeing. 

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been widespread, affecting the lives of every baby, child and young person in the country. This generation of children face unprecedented threats to their childhoods and life chances. They deserve an unprecedented response.

As people around the world protest against racism and injustice in society, the staff and trustees of The Fostering Network stand with them and add our voices to theirs, condemning racism and prejudice in all its forms.

The Fostering Network welcomes the announcement of additional funding to support all foster carers in Northern Ireland during the Covid 19 crisis, made by the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) in Northern Ireland last week.

This new funding is in addition to a single payment of £100 per fostering household announced by the board at the end of March and it will put money directly into the fostering household through increasing the weekly allowance for food and household costs by approximately 20 per cent. This funding is for twelve weeks initially, subject to review.

Every day 55,000 foster families across the UK are offering 65,000 fostered children and young people a loving, secure and stable home, and this commitment from foster families is ongoing during the coronavirus outbreak.

The UK’s leading fostering charity, The Fostering Network, is using this year’s Foster Care FortnightTM to raise awareness of the extraordinary dedication and work of foster carers at this time, while calling for more people to come forward to foster.

Last week the Department for Education made temporary changes to 10 sets of children’s social care regulations in England. The changes were intended to introduce greater flexibility for local authorities and providers operating under the current challenging circumstances.

Foster carers are facing financial insecurity after falling through the gaps of government funding schemes according to leading fostering organisations in the UK.

In an open letter to governments around the UK, The Fostering Network, alongside TACT, the Nationwide Association of Fostering Providers (NAFP), CoramBAAF (and AFA in Scotland) is calling for foster carers, who are not covered by existing funding schemes, to be financially supported. 

Sara Lurie, director of The Fostering Network in Scotland said: ‘We welcome today’s publication of the findings of the independent care review, after three years of work and listening to care experienced children and young people in Scotland. 

Survey findings published today have led the UK’s leading fostering charity, The Fostering Network, to warn that children in foster care in Scotland are subject to a postcode lottery when it comes to how much money is provided for their day-to-day care. It follows more than a decade of regular promises from the Scottish Government to bring this geographical discrepancy to an end.

Responding to news that the Department for Education has written to directors of children’s services across England urging them to prioritise adoption for children in the care system, chief executive of The Fostering Network Kevin Williams said: 'We continue to be perplexed by the Westminster Government's use of language and continued view of adoption as the gold standard of care.