FosterCare UK Updates

Thankyou Annual Dinner DanceWe’re looking forward to our Annual Dinner Dance this Saturday (14th November) at the Ashford International Hotel.

Its our way of saying ‘thankyou’ to all our amazing foster carers, fostering team, colleagues and partners of FosterCare UK.

We have some treats to look forward to – including one of our foster carers performing live with his band ‘Legacy’, a disco, raffle prizes, a magician and delicious food and drink.

Let the party begin!

New Best Social Work Employer of the Year 2015FosterCare UK has been selected as a finalist in the Social Worker of the Year Awards 2015 as a result of their outstanding work with vulnerable children and young people in care.

FOSTERCARE UK has been nominated for Best Social Work Employer of the Year award and will find out if they have won the accolade at an exclusive awards ceremony that will take place in London at the end of November.

FOSTERCARE UK is one of 68 finalists across 15 categories and winners from each category will compete against each other to be named the “Overall Social Worker of the Year 2015.”

The prestigious awards ceremony is the leading celebration of its kind in the social care sector, and recognises the achievements and successes of the profession’s most innovative and dedicated social workers.

James Rook, Managing Director of the awards’ headline sponsor Sanctuary Social Care, said: “These awards are about recognising the best work in the profession and to reach the finals is an outstanding achievement in itself. The awards aim to raise awareness of the challenging and diverse work that social workers do and they are helping to improve the reputation of social workers everywhere.”

Jonathan Toomey, Managing Director of FosterCare UK, Said: ‘We are delighted to have been shortlisted for the Award given such esteemed competition this year. As a fostering service we exist to provide specialist foster placements for children and young people with complex needs. We invest hugely in training and development of our foster carers, social workers and support staff to ensure we provide an outstanding service and place to work.’

Evidence of positive outcomes does not get much better than from a 16 year old who had complex needs and who had previously experienced many placement breakdowns. She was placed in our service and hand made us a card with the following message:

‘To FosterCare UK. Thank you for all the hard work you have done for me to get this far. I made this little something for you to say a very big thank you. From S. PS you’re the best people ever in my life to make and encourage me this far.’

Our ultimate aim for children is a positive impact and outcomes, so this sort of feedback is fantastic to get given that we are in one of the most challenging times ever for fostering, with an estimated 7000+ national shortage of foster carers. I therefore urge anyone with a spare bedroom and a desire to make a difference, to come forward and apply to be a foster carer’

The awards are judged by leading influencers including the Chief Social Workers Isabelle Trowler and Lyn Romeo and Maris Stratulis (England Manager, British Association of Social Workers).

The Social Worker of the Year Awards are supported by headline sponsor Sanctuary Social Care; corporate partner the British Association of Social Workers, and individual category supporters, UNISON, NSPCC, Core Assets, iMPOWER, Local Government Association, ECL: The Care & Wellbeing Company, Barnardo’s, Kent County Council, Hampshire County Council and Devon County Council.

For more information about the Social Worker of the Year Awards please see

young-people-leaving-care-too-youngCare leavers’ transitions to adulthood

FosterCare UK calls for more to be done by Government, with better local leadership and increased funding to help young people who are leaving foster or residential care in England to live successful independent lives.

According to a recent report by the National Audit Office, the system is not working effectively. This is despite the fact that there is a clear legal framework and an inspection regime in place.

To prove the point – the numbers of care leavers classed as a NEET (Not in Employment, Education and Training has increased steadily since 2007-08.

In 2013-14, over 10,000 young people aged over 16 left care, an increase of almost 50% since 2003-04. Moreover, 33% of those aged 16 or over who left care did so before their 18th birthday. The government wants to ensure that care leavers get the same care and support that their peers would expect from a reasonable parent, such as help finding a job or setting up home. However, those leaving care may struggle to cope with the transition to adulthood and may experience social exclusion, unemployment, health problems or end up in custody. Care leavers have had these problems for a long time.

Only half of children in care have emotional health and behaviour that is considered normal and this poses additional challenges when adapting to life after care. In 2013, 50% of young people were still living with their parents at the age of 22. But young people in care have to leave by their 18th birthday and some have to live independently as soon as they leave care.

Over 41% of 19 yr old care leavers are NEET

The cost of not moving into adulthood successfully is likely to be high to both care leavers and the public. The principal outcome measure is the number of care leavers not in education, employment or training (NEET). In 2013-14, 41% of 19-year-old care leavers were NEET compared with only 15% of their age peers. According to the NAO, the lifetime cost of the current cohort of 19-year-old care leavers being NEET would be around

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