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Adoption UK contributes to the Department for Education’s fostering consultation

Published: 23.06.17

Adoption UK has contributed to the Department for Education’s recent review of the fostering system in England.
Adoption UK contributes to the Department for Education’s fostering consultation

The charity consulted with some of our members and staff who are foster carers before developing its response.

Sir Martin Narey and Mark Owens have been appointed by the Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening, to conduct a National Fostering Stocktake. They sought views on the current state of foster care in England.

The aim of this review is to build a comprehensive picture of what the fostering system looks like in England - and where, and how it could be improved to achieve ambitious outcomes for children. All views and evidence submitted through this consultation will be used to inform the wider Fostering Stocktake. A report on the findings will be published on GOV.UK by the end of 2017.

The call for evidence covers a range of issues - from the status of foster carers in relation to other care professionals, to how the experiences of young people can be improved when entering foster care.

Adoption UK took this opportunity to raise a number of issues with the Department for Education.

The charity identified two major concerns among foster carers: the inadequacy of the training and support offered to foster carers; and the lack of status of foster carers, which in some cases our respondents found “deeply hurtful and insulting”.

On the subject of training and support, one respondent told us: “Why would anybody want our most vulnerable children sent to live with amateur volunteers at the most difficult times in their lives?”

Other important issues highlighted in the response include an acknowledgement of the significant differences between short-term and long-term foster care and the need for an overhaul of commissioning procedures.

Adoption UK’s response also emphasises the difficulties associated with continuing contact with foster carers post-permanence. These difficulties need to be addressed because of the significant impact they can have in future years.

Adoption UK’s response also includes a case study featured in June’s edition of Adoption Today in which an adult adoptee describes his move from his foster parents to his adoptive parent.

The response concludes that: “There is no doubting that the greater improvements in the care of vulnerable children, the better their outcomes, and the more likely it is that they become fully functional young adults, who make a positive and worthwhile contribution to their communities and societies.”

Click here for Adoption UK’s full response to the review.