There will be some changes to our helpline opening hours over the festive period. However, there will still be support available to our members through our legal and stress support advice lines, which are open twenty-four seven.

Changes to our helpline services

• Our Member Helpline (England) will close at 3.00pm on Friday 23 December and reopen at 10.00am on Tuesday 3 January 2023.

• Fosterline Wales will close at 12.30pm on Friday 23 December and reopen at 9.30am on Tuesday 3 January 2023.

The UK’s leading fostering charity, The Fostering Network, have announced plans to carry out vital research into the retention and recruitment of foster carers in England to achieve a diverse and stable foster care workforce.  

The research, supported by the KPMG Foundation and conducted by the Centre for Evidence and Implementation is currently underway.  


Yesterday saw the launch of this year's Christmas ad campaign from John Lewis, which highlights foster care and the company's commitment to support young people with care experience through their Building Happier Futures programme. The Fostering Network is pleased to welcome this campaign and the increased awareness of foster care it will bring. We are also looking forward to working closely with John Lewis as part of the Buildling Happier Futures advisory board. 

Ofsted have released their annual fostering in England statistics, highlighting that many vulnerable children are currently missing out on the care and support they need due to a lack of foster carers.  

Ensuring there are sufficient numbers of skilled and knowledgeable foster carers is one of the biggest challenges currently facing the fostering sector. 

Yesterday Professor Ray Jones published his interim recommendations at the half-way stage of the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care in Northern Ireland. You can read them here.  

Staff and trustees of The Fostering Network are deeply saddened by news of the death of Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II, today (8 Sep 2022).

On behalf of everyone associated with the charity, I offer our heartfelt condolences to The Royal Family at this time.

Kevin Williams, chief executive, The Fostering Network

The Department of Health (Northern Ireland) have published details of the uplift to foster care allowances for 2022/23 in Northern Ireland. The increase is on average 3 per cent, comparable to national minimum allowances in England (outside of London and the South East). 

It has been well documented that this year, all families are facing unprecedented increases in their cost of living, with inflation currently at 10.1 per cent.  

A survey of foster carers conducted by FosterWiki has highlighted the serious financial pressures on the sector as the cost of living crisis continues to mount. This echoes the findings of our State of the Nation 2021 survey of over 3,000 foster carers, which showed that for over a third of foster carers their allowances do not meet the full cost of looking after a child. 

Today sees the publication of the final report of the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care in England. The report calls for £2.6bn to implement a ‘fundamental reset of the system to improve the quality of life for children, their families and those in care.’  

Foster Care Fortnight 2022, the largest celebration of fostering in Northern Ireland and the UK's biggest fostering awareness raising campaign, was launched on Monday 9 May at an event in Gracehall, Lurgan, by The Fostering Network in partnership with HSC NI Foster Care. The launch included a call for more foster carers throughout Northern Ireland. 

Across Northern Ireland, around 265 more fostering families are needed to make sure every child who is not able to live with their own family gets the care they need from foster carers within their own community.