The Fostering Network joins seven leading charities to launch the Care Inquiry

Media release

The Fostering Network is delighted to announce today’s launch of the Care Inquiry, which will look into how best to provide stable and permanent homes for children in England who cannot live with their birth families.

The Inquiry is a collaboration of specialist charities, including the Fostering Network, that will bring together their expertise and knowledge, and that of others in the sector, to explore how to best meet the needs of these children.

The eight charities leading the Inquiry are Adoption UK, British Association of Adoption & Fostering (BAAF), Family Rights Group, the Fostering Network, Research in Practice, TACT, The Together Trust and The Who Cares? Trust.

Commenting on the launch, Robert Tapsfield, chief executive of the Fostering Network, said: “Most children who come into care will stay in care for many years, some for the rest of the childhood. Far too many of these children drift through the system, move too often and do not find a home that is right for them.

“The Government is concerned about this too, but to date has been overwhelmingly focused on adoption as the best option for these children. Many children do not want or need to be adopted so this focus risks skewing decision making and may not be in the best interests of the child.

“Fostering, adoption and special guardianship are all options for providing children with the stable and secure permanent home they need, and we want to see these options given equal weight in Government policy and the decision making process.

“Sorting out the care system goes much further than fostering, and that’s why we were very keen to set up The Care Inquiry. Together we can have a much bigger voice and make recommendations for Government to ensure the right home can be found for all children.”

The Care Inquiry, which is supported by the Nuffield Foundation, will consist of three evidence collating sessions in November, December and January, with a final report due out by spring 2013.

For more information visit Follow the Inquiry’s progress on Twitter @thecareinquiry.


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Notes to editors 

1. The Fostering Network is the UK’s leading charity for all those involved in foster care. It exists to make life better for fostered children and the families that care for them.

2. Read Robert Tapsfield's blog on why the Fostering Network is involved in the Care Inquiry. 

3. On any one day there are more than 48,530 children living with at least 37,000 foster families across the England.

4. The Fostering Network estimates that at least 7,100 foster families need to be recruited across England in 2012.