Today Professor Ray Jones published his final report as Chair of the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care in Northern Ireland, following 16 months of extensive consultation. The report lays out a pathway to bring about transformational change, making recommendations for sweeping reform of children’s services

A pilot framework explaining how services should handle suspected missing children and young people cases has launched today. For the past two years, The Fostering Network has been a part of a national task and finish group, led by the National Police Chief’s Council, working to develop a new approach to reporting children who are thought to have gone missing from care.  

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. 

We are delighted that today the John Lewis Partnership have announced they are a Fostering Friendly employer – the largest organisation to receive the accreditation so far. 

Over the weekend the Observer published findings into their investigation of a ‘crisis in the system’. They reported that some children in foster care in Britain are being moved to foster families and care homes more than 300 miles away from the neighbourhoods they grew up in, removing them from critical support networks and everything they are familiar with.  

Today, Humza Yousaf has been nominated as the new First Minister of Scotland. The Fostering Network have written a letter outlining our number one priority ask for 2023 – to implement a national minimum allowance, now.  

Scotland is the only country in the UK without a national minimum allowance and we at The Fostering Network have been campaigning for its implementation for many years. 

Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network, is to retire after almost 40 years in the voluntary and public sectors.  

Kevin, who has spent the past eight years at The Fostering Network, has previously been chief executive of the fostering and adoption charity TACT and DGSM yourChoice. He began his career as a social worker and worked in a variety of roles in children’s social care in local authorities.   

On 27 January 2023 The Northern Ireland Children’s Commissioner (NICCY) published a report ‘Looked after? A Formal Investigation into the Life of a Child in the Care of the State’

Independent evaluation of The Fostering Network's Fostering Wellbeing programme found it to be a valued and effective model, promoting a holistic approach to supporting children and young people.  

The independent evaluation released today by CASCADE at Cardiff University reported that following engagement with the programme, foster carers have felt empowered to become stronger advocates for the children in their care and much of the learning and understanding of the importance of children’s prior experiences has also been retained.