News Roundup

Simply Fostering News

November 2015

Duchess of Cambridge to attend charity event

On 17th November, the Duchess of Cambridge will attend a charity event which celebrates the achievements of social workers, foster carers and young people. The Fostering Excellence Awards is an annual event organised by the charity The Fostering Network and is held in London at the BMA House.

Kate, who was introduced to The Fostering Network at the start of the year, will attend a tea party where she will meet the award winners and also present three of them with the Fostering Achievement Award in recognition of their achievements.
The charity works to highlight the demand for people to become foster carers.

Finding Long Term Foster Placements

A new service called Placement Link has been launched by Link Maker, the company who developed the service Adoption Link. This resource will help social workers to place children in foster care with suitable carers, by enabling them to search all available placements on the new website. The Adoption Link service is used by Local Authorities and the new Placement Link site will run alongside this with no further cost to the Council.

A profile of a child is put together by the Local Authority and then suitable carers can be found based on these using specific search criteria. The service will also work both ways so that long term foster carers can make an enquiry if they identify a child they could care for.

More support needed for Teenagers in Wales

Welsh teenagers leaving foster care should be offered more support, says the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Sally Holland. Figures show that almost 50% of 19 year olds, who leave foster care are not employed, in education or training. More money is needed by the Councils to help them support these teenagers and provide them with more stability.

Ms Holland also spoke about the need for over -18’s who are in residential care homes, to be given the opportunity to stay if they wished. This commitment is already being offered to children in foster care.

Call for Minimum Fostering Allowances in Scotland

Following the announcement by the Scottish Government that allowances for kinship carers will be brought to the same level as allowances for foster carers, the Fostering Network in Scotland has called for the introduction of minimum fostering allowances.
Scotland is the only country in the United Kingdom not to have a minimum allowance. A foster carer in Scotland could be receiving an allowance of as little as £77.69 per week. In comparison, foster carers in England and Northern Ireland are paid a minimum of £119 per week and carers in Wales received receive a minimum of £159 per week.

Sara Lurie, who is the director of The Fostering Network in Scotland, said that the Scottish Government needs to commit to the introduction of minimum allowances following its pledge to invest £10 million to equal kinship care allowances.