The Fostering Network is the UK's leading charity for foster care. We are dedicated to making foster care better for children.
As a membership organisation and the voice of foster care in the UK, we represent over 56,000 foster carers and more than 375 fostering services.
We work with our members to campaign and lobby to influence national and local policy, and we provide a range of services and support so that foster carers and fostering services can provide fostered children with the best possible care.
The Fostering Network has been supporting foster carers and campaigning for change for nearly 40 years.
Formed as the National Foster Care Association in 1974, we grew out of a desire to create a bridge between foster carers, social workers, fostering services, policy makers and politicians.
During the early years, we helped introduce the first national minimum fostering allowances, ran the first National Foster Care Week and launched the first nationwide training for prospective carers.Since then our campaigning work has led to the growing recognition of the status and role of foster carers, and alongside this a move towards paying foster carers for their time, skills and experience, and the introduction of national minimum allowances in England, Northern Ireland and Wales.
Thanks to our work, foster carers now experience improved tax and benefits arrangements, and we paved the way for those who don’t work outside the home to have greater access to state pensions. We’ve also consistently reminded local councillors of their responsibilities towards children in care as their corporate parents, and successfully pushed for more authority for day-to-day decisions to be delegated to foster carers.
Today, the Fostering Network continues to be at the forefront of foster care. Our annual Foster Care Fortnight™ raises the profile of foster care across the UK and supports the recruitment of new foster carers, and prospective foster carers prepare for fostering with our The Skills to Foster training. We continue to work with fostering services to help them provide the best possible support to fostered children and the families that care for them through our expert-led telephone and online advice, the introduction of social pedagogy into foster care, and our work to support and recognise the sons and daughters of foster carers.