The Secretary of State for Education has appointed Sir Martin Narey to undertake a national stocktake of fostering. Evidence will be collected from a wide range of providers and stakeholders to understand what is working well in UK fostering and why, where improvements are needed to achieve better outcomes for children and identify areas where further research is needed.
Sir Martin is interested to hear from practitioners, academics, foster carers, children in care, children and adults who have left care. He will be looking at the types of fostering currently offered by providers, the status, role and function of foster carers in relation to other professionals, how fostering services are commissioned, regulated and inspected, what works best in fostering settings to improve outcomes for children and young people and how we can improve the experience of young people entering foster care, transitioning between placements, and leaving foster care.
Supported Fostering Services have participated in the National Stocktake of Fostering recommending a range of measures to improve outcomes for looked after children and young people leaving care. We have expressed a number of concerns including the lack of a coherent system to manage children’s savings, funding issues for Staying Put, a shortage of mental health services and the bureaucratic burden on social work diverting services away from children.