FosterCare UK Updates

70440 Looked after children in EnglandDepartment for Education release numbers of children looked after in England

Department for Education has released the numbers of children looked after in England (including adoption) year ending 31 March 2016

This Statistical First Release (SFR) provides information about looked after children in England for the year ending 31 March 2016, including where they are placed, their legal status, the numbers starting and ceasing to be looked after, and the numbers who go missing or are away from their placement without authorisation.

Figures cover looked after children who were placed for adoption, the number who were adopted and the average time between different stages of the adoption process.

Numbers and characteristics of children looked after at 31 March.

At 31 March 2016, there were 70,440 looked after children in England, an increase of 970 (1%) on 2015, and an increase of 3,370 (5%) on 2012. In 2012, 59 children per 10,000 of the population were looked after; in 2016 the rate was 60 children per 10,000 of the population.

The rise over time reflects the higher number of children starting to be looked after than ceasing. In particular, in the latest year, we have seen a rise in the number of unaccompanied asylum seeking children in care, with 3,440 unaccompanied asylum seeking children entering care, and 1,980 leaving care.

Many of the changes seen in the characteristics of the looked after children population as a whole have been influenced by this increase, for example with a rise in the number of children aged 16 and over, and a rise in the number of children with an ethnic background of ‘Any other Asian’, ‘African’ or ‘Any other ethnic group’.

If we remove unaccompanied asylum seeking children from the count of looked after children, we see that there has been a decrease in the looked after children population of 500 (1%) since 2015.

See full report here


Social Worker of the Year Awards FinalistFosterCare UK nominated for social worker of the year award

A social work team from FOSTERCARE UK has been selected as a finalist in the Social Worker of the Year Awards 2016 as a result of their outstanding work with vulnerable Children.

FOSTERCARE UK has been nominated for Best Social Work Employer of the Year prize and will find out if they have won at an exclusive awards ceremony that will take in London in November. FosterCare UK is one of 78 finalists across 15 categories and winners from each category will compete against each other to be named the “Overall Social Worker of the Year 2016.”

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 award’s headline sponsor Sanctuary Social Care said: “At a time when services are under such intense pressure, this award seems most relevant as it recognises those employers who put their staff first and demonstrate excellence in leading, motivating and developing their workforce. All finalists have proved themselves to be outstanding employers, which is an achievement to be very proud of.”

Jonathan Toomey, Founder and Managing Director of FosterCare UK said: “We are delighted to be shortlisted as Social Work Employer of the Year 2016; it is testament to the incredible dedication and hard work my team put in, day in and day out, to place and support vulnerable children and young people with our foster carers in Kent, London and Hertfordshire”.

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

For more information about the Social Worker of the Year Awards please see www.socialworkawards.com.

For more information about the Social Work Awards, visit www.socialworkawards.com


Measurement of wellbeing in fostercarePromoting the Emotional Wellbeing of Children in Foster Care

Promoting children in care’s emotional wellbeing and recovery from trauma through a child-centred outcomes framework

We have recently been focusing on raising awareness about trauma and anxiety in children in foster care; both are significant factors resulting in young people who develop and grow into adults who suffer a lifetime of mental health problems and never reach their full potential in life.

Yet, relatively speaking, very little is done by government to measure and understand this properly.

We are pleased to share this latest paper from the Alliance, developed in conjunction with a roundtable of experts.

Promoting the Emotional Wellbeing of Children in Care examines options for assessing and measuring looked after children’s wellbeing and mental health outcomes throughout their care experience. Crucially, it sets out proposals for Government on developing new measures and ways of using existing data more effectively, to drive improvements across the sector.

Alliance for children in care and care leavers, conclude in their report:

Care should be viewed as a process by which a child’s recovery from previous adverse experiences and achievement of positive emotional wellbeing is to be realised. It should effect changes for children over time, and any change needs to be measurable so that it is possible to say whether the care a child is receiving is effective, and high quality.

A failure to achieve these outcomes will have an impact on other life chances, such as education and future employment.

For children and young people in care, the quality of relationships and stability is of paramount importance.

We often hear about the importance of educational outcomes and ‘promoting achievement’, but in view of the reasons why children come into care, such as abuse and neglect, the frequent comparison of looked after children with the wider population is unhelpful.

As we have seen, when looked after children are compared with more similar cohorts of children, their outcomes can be encouraging.

As wellbeing underpins stability of relationships and placements, and is found to predict future health and productivity, there is a strong case for prioritising the measurement of wellbeing and mental health for looked after children within a new outcomes framework.

Wellbeing should underpin and inform an understanding of what good care is and needs to be, so that it is consistently and transparently high quality.

Systematic measurement of both wellbeing and mental health would help to ensure that care helps children and young people to flourish and move on from traumatic experiences through promoting their emotional wellbeing, as well as recover and repair any damage from adverse experiences, through addressing mental health problems.

Given the importance of these goals, the need for robust measurement of wellbeing and mental health outcomes must be urgently addressed.

These proposals, developed with experts and Alliance members, form part the Alliance for Children in Care and Care Leaver’s New Vision – a programme of work calling for a shift in the way the care system is viewed and delivered.

More about the Alliance and Action for Children.

More should be done, yes. In the meantime we continue to support the children in our care by offering therapeutic fostering solutions to help the children who come into our care from the local authority.

If you would like to be a foster carer. Please fill in our registration form and we’ll get in touch to talk about fostering in London , Kent and Hertfordshire.


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