Fostering News, Events & Blog Posts

Here’s where you can keep up to date with fostering related news, events, and blog posts, carefully selected by us for their relevance and appeal to anyone who is considering a professional career as a foster carer for a local authority or an independent fostering provider.

Because we regularly update the content here, you may find it helpful to bookmark this page for easy reference whenever you are online and want to ‘catch up’.

Preparing for your fostering assessment

Preparing for your fostering assessment

After your successful completion of the Skills to Foster course, the next stage for everyone applying to become a foster carer will be your formal written assessment. You might now be thinking about what’s to come, the themes that will be explored together with your assessing social worker and looking for good advice to guide… Read more »

Can I foster if I have pets?

Foster child with foster family cat

It’s no surprise that lots of fostering families have a family pet, a cat or a dog, or even a snake or a parrot, since foster carers are often people who love the company of pets in their home. Indeed, cat and dog owners tend to be the type of person with the personal qualities… Read more »

During the fostering assessment, why are references needed from ex-partners?

safeguarding children fostering assessment

As I have worked with fostering agencies to help them to attract and recruit new foster carers, I have seen that there are some aspects of the carer fostering assessment, which can cause anxiety in applicants. One of these is the requirement to interview former partners. Feelings of trepidation about this are quite understandable since… Read more »

Child sex abuse investigations is not money ‘spaffed up the wall’

Boris Johnson

Read my letter to Boris Johnson, the frontrunner in the Tory leadership contest, explaining to him why police funding of investigations into historical child sex abuse cases is not ‘money spaffed up the wall’. The Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP House of Commons London SW1A 0AA 25 May 2019 Dear Mr Johnson As you are… Read more »

What’s it like to move into a new foster home?

Cat under bed - what is it like to move into a foster care home

For a child or young person moving into a new home, and for their new family, including you, and everyone in your household, ‘moving in day’, will be an anxious occasion. Everyone, including social workers, will be feeling tense and emotional, and eager to see that things go to plan. A child who is about… Read more »

Childhood First launches innovative new fostering service

Childhood First Fostering

To close a gap in the growing demand for specialist care for psychologically traumatised children in local authority care, the charity Childhood First this month launched its’ new integrated therapeutic fostering service. Integrated Therapeutic Fostering (iTF) specialises in treatment to promote the recovery of children and young people who present severe emotional and behavioural problems… Read more »

The Silence That Enables Abuse

The Silence That Enables Abuse

It’s 30 years since I entered care. Since then, I’ve been a fully involved uncle to my nephew and niece, and to quite a few foster kids and teens too! They’re young adults themselves now, and I feel as a family we can be reasonably confident we’ve done a good job of raising our family,… Read more »

Why Does Fostering Require a Spare Bedroom?

Over the past couple of years, I have been asked many times, and listened to a great deal of understandable frustration and criticism expressed on our Facebook page for Do Fostering, about the mandatory requirement to provide a spare bedroom at the time of applying for an assessment to become a foster carer. Before I became… Read more »

Kids need validation. There’s no better feeling than providing it.

Kids need validation

Yesterday, I visited my sister in the East Midlands, and her huge brood of kids. There was my nephew and niece, both teenagers, who have ‘fostered’ all of their lives. Two step children who came along with my brother in law weren’t home this time, but three younger kids, who have been fostered for almost… Read more »

We can achieve happy, ethnically-matched adoptions. But it’ll cost us.

We Can Achieve Happy, Ethnically-Matched Adoptions.

As reported last week in Community Care, the government says that adopting more children from care will save £310m. So what’s new? Back in 2012, when working within a London local authority as recruitment and marketing manager for fostering and adoption, I always knew that the forcible, unilateral push for increased adoptions of children in… Read more »

What does the election result mean for foster care?

Foster Care in UK after Brexit Result

This week delivered a general election result that almost none of us thought possible. Not the pollsters. Nor the politicians. Not even us ‘hard working people’ from ‘up and down this country’ that mustered any enthusiasm to discuss the election. Perhaps my observation was like yours—universal apathy. The news of a Conservative majority government is… Read more »

Stop pinching other agencies’ foster carers.

Stop Pinching other Agencies Foster Carers

This week I had the pleasure of training colleagues from across the independent fostering sector. Held in Battersea, southwest London, this was the first of four one-day sessions. I was deeply impressed by the commitment, professional analysis and creative ideas which were shared during our course. These contributed much to an enthusiastic and meaningful discussion…. Read more »

Stop molly-coddling kids in care. We don’t need it

Treat Foster Children Equally

Reading an article in The Voice (18 August 2015), I agree somewhat with the notion of apprenticeships being reserved for care leavers, because without natural parental support and nepotism (think family firms), young people can be disadvantaged. But, as a care experienced adult myself, my personal experience does not match Barnardo’s chief executive Javed Khan’s… Read more »

Rolf Harris guilty of indecent assaults

Rolf Harris Guilty of indecent assaults

So this week the veteran entertainer Rolf Harris was found guilty of 12 counts of indecently assaulting four girls in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. One of the victims was a childhood friend of his daughter, another was an autograph hunter aged seven or eight. Prosecutors said Harris was a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ character who… Read more »

Major study reveals true scale of abuse of children in care.

Major Study Reveals True Scale of Abuse of Children in Care

Hot on the heels of the missing child abuse files which possibly incriminate senior Government figures from recent decades and with today’s Government falling over itself to ‘reassure’ the public that it will launch an ‘inquiry’ into the scandal, in today’s Independent, we now learn that: One in every hundred children living in care is… Read more »

I say no to transracial adoption.

A few years ago, when I started helping local authorities to recruit foster carers, I was surprised to see how many applicants were of black African or black Caribbean origin in comparison to the racial composition of the local population. An attraction campaign I produced for a southwest London borough provides a stark example of… Read more »

How to recruit more adopters and foster carers.

How to Recruit More Adopters and Foster Carers

The Guardian recently published a piece about fostering and adoption recruitment, submitted by a management consulting firm which supports public services. It captured my interest because I have worked with and within local authorities to help them to recruit foster carers and support their family finding activity, and with a marketing career of almost 20… Read more »

How To (Really) Recruit Foster Carers.

How to Really Recruit Fosters Carers

The Guardian some time ago published a piece about fostering recruitment submitted by a management consulting firm. It captured my attention because for several years I have worked with local authorities and independent fostering agencies to help them to recruit foster carers. The article highlights that the successful attraction and recruitment (and retention, in my… Read more »

But for the kindness of strangers.

But for the kindness of strangers

One of the most dominant aspects of my life as a neglected and abused little boy was the relentlessly gnawing hunger that I carried inside of me everywhere I went. My father and stepmother locked me in a small bedroom at almost all times, except to go to school, where I’d feel a hopeful stab… Read more »