The story, mission, people and ethos behind FosterWiki
FosterWiki was founded in 2021 by Sarah Anderson.
An experienced foster carer of 15yrs and a counselling psychotherapist in the NHS specialising in adolescents Sarah is also one of the founding campaigners for foster carers with a rich history of supporting and championing the foster carer workforce and the children they care for.
FosterWiki was inspired by the challenges foster carers faced in accessing information, often sourcing real information was complex, took a long time and often no one knew where to look if it indeed existed in the first place.
Sarah also wanted to share the most under-utilised asset in fostering, the foster carer’s knowledge bank, a veritable wealth of experience, skill and practice that has never been captured or written down, and how things work in practice on a daily basis for the fostering workforce.
Sarah and her team set about creating a community platform, an impartial, independent platform where foster carers could be informed, inspired, feel supported and enhance their roles. A platform that is instantly accessible, day and night, at the tip of the fingers and free.
Karl Pizzey, FosterWiki Operations Director.
Sarah and Karl met many years ago through a shared passion and vision to improve the fostering landscape for the workforce and the children they care for and they have been working together ever since.
Karl and his wife have been foster carers for many years specialising in babies and children with additional needs.
Karl previously worked in the Royal Air Force, education, information and technology and the Maritime sector working with certifying authorities and foreign governments.
Karl was the Course Director for Lloyds Maritime Academy. He has also been governor of a special needs school and a trustee for a local charity.
Karl and his company Pixel are the developers behind the acclaimed FosterWiki website.
Carolyn Moody MBE, FosterWiki’s Ambassador.
Carolyn is a multi-award winning foster carer with an extraordinary wealth of experience who in 2022 was awarded an MBE for her services to fostering over a 20yr period.
Carolyn is a specialist in disability and autism and has achieved extraordinary outcomes over the years for the children and young people in her care, and has contributed extensively to the wider fostering landscape.
We are privileged to have Carolyn Moody MBE on board along with the richness of her unlimited knowledge and experience.
Niki Kalasperas FosterWiki Campaign Manager.
Niki is an experienced foster carer, therapeutic counsellor and has worked in childcare for many years. Niki is herself care experienced, which she says has contributed to her “unwavering desire to make positive change and a lasting impact on children and young people in care”
Before settling into her role as a therapeutic counsellor and group work manager she extensively travelled Europe and Asia, something she says helped her “gain a respectful and appreciative understanding of cultural backgrounds and was able to adapt caregiving and counselling approaches to ensure inclusivity and cultural sensitivity.”
On her return, she developed a keen interest in the area of substance misuse with a focus on women and families, and then in her role as a foster carer specialist in fostering to adoption.
Niki brings a diverse range of skills to the FosterWiki team and a passion and dedication for improving fostering for looked after children and those who care for them.
Raquela Mosquera Campaign Coordinator.
Raqeula Mosquera’s personal experience of the care system and her community work brings her own unique and vital contribution to the FosterWiki Team.
From Raquela’s personal experience of the care system in her early years, she knows only too well how broken attachments in the formative years can impact mental health throughout a lifetime.
Her life experience has enabled her to empathise with feelings of loss, rejection, fear, abandonment and how these things left her struggling with relationships, her mental health and being unable to trust anyone.
Raquela has a rich history working with vulnerable groups, she has gained extensive knowledge working for over 20 years alongside families, young people, and adults, from a vast range of backgrounds including those referred by other professionals from schools, children centres, social workers, domestic violence, prison service and probation, children on the at-risk register, children in care and children within the foster care system.
We asked Raquela what inspires her to do this work and she replied; “I loved watching change in people, when you invest in them watching them grow, helping them to understand what is going on and what was happening, understanding their feelings and how doing things differently will have better outcomes.
My own life experiences helped me identify with the negative impact of being in care and what happened after that, in terms of how I behaved and interacted with the world, I felt I was able to build rapport empathy and understanding of how they felt.
Knowing that my experience may help someone else has given me so much passion in my work.”
We went on to ask Raquela what has motivated her to become an integral part of our campaign, and she told us;
“ As a child and as a teenager, due to my broken attachment, I was entirely misunderstood, my behaviour was put down to me simply being ‘bad and disruptive’. Yes, I was angry a lot of the time, not because I was bad, but because of the loss, grief and attachment issues I had suffered. I never felt like I belonged anywhere. I often wonder if someone had seen past the behaviour and thought to talk to me, and let me talk about how I felt, to help me understand my feelings and emotions, how different it might have been.”
The extended Foster Wiki team.
The extended Foster Wiki team consists of experts who have extensive experience working with and caring for looked after children in their home setting and experts from other fields, such as education, safeguarding, nutrition, social work, care experienced, trauma and more.
Our full immersion advertising partnerships with fostering agencies and local authorities and our National Listing of Fostering Providers, with reviews, ratings and foster carer feedback promotes our partners across the UK.
A go-to directory providing new recruits and transfers with independent, impartial and trusted information, assisting them to make an informed choice.
We have an outstanding FosterWiki Advisory Group encompassing exceptional talent and independent voices from across the sector.
Ranging from experts in foster care, kinship care and residential, plus academics, authors, trauma-informed specialists, senior social work professionals, educators, psychotherapists, residential leaders, child psychologists and a neuroscientist.
The group meets with the Department for Education in discussions and in an advisory capacity.
Our philosophy is not to tell people what to do, but to share with them what we know, and that knowledge and guidance is all underpinned by the government’s National Minimum Standards and Statutory Regulations.
FosterWiki never stands still, not even for a day, we have an agile and responsive team who love feedback, learn and are curious whilst continually exploring new opportunities and openings for a platform with limitless possibilities.
FosterWiki is ultimately driven by the desire to recognise the importance of foster carers as a workforce and the recognition of the key role they play in outcomes for our children and young people.
We want to be at the forefront of finding solutions to create a world-class fostering workforce that is qualified, trauma-informed, recognised professionally, understood and truly respected.
Behind everything we do is a laser-sharp focus on upholding the right for every child to live in a skilled, trauma-informed, nurturing and safe family environment, securely for as long as they need to.