The FosterWiki Manifesto

The Election 2024 FosterWiki Manifesto

A 10 point Reform Agenda for foster care

At FosterWiki, we are committed to providing not just recommendations, but actionable solutions, many that are fully developed and ready for implementation. Our manifesto outlines these actionable solutions, designed to transform foster care and secure the outcomes our children and care leavers rightfully deserve. We urge your party to support these essential reforms and help us make a lasting difference in the lives of those in foster care.

Foster Care: Crisis and Opportunity

The number of children in care continues to rise, with in excess of 100,000 in the UK care system in 2023, the equivalent of one child entering care every 15 minutes. Seventy per cent of these children live with foster families, who provide safe, loving, and nurturing homes when birth families cannot.

Foster carers have a unique opportunity to transform lives, address inequalities and help children flourish. However, the ongoing crisis in foster care recruitment and retention threatens this mission, as more foster carers are leaving than joining. This trend impacts the well-being of children and young people in care every day.

1. Children's Well-being, Transitions, and Outcomes

Our vision prioritises stability, safety, mental and physical health, education, nurturing environments, and trusting relationships for all children. Ensuring continuity in their essential attachments and relationships during transitions within and out of care is paramount.

Key Actions:

2. Professional Role and Support

Centralised licensing, formation of an independent governing body

A central body for foster carers will regulate the profession and establish clear rights and duties for foster carers and those who engage them. This body will not alter existing legislation or tax arrangements but will elevate foster carers to professional status, conferring corresponding rights and responsibilities.

Key Functions:

Support Initiatives

3. Compliance and Quality of Care

Key Actions:

4. Education and Training

Introduction of National Foster Carer's Accredited Qualifications

NFCQ
https://nfcq.co.uk/qualifications/

5. Recruitment, Assessment, and Approval

Modernising the Process

* This new system has been developed over 2yrs and is now ready for roll out: https://nfcq.co.uk/integrated-assessment-process/

6. Support and Mental Health

Key Actions:

7. Allegations and Data Protection

Key Actions:

8. Pay, allowances and Remuneration

Establishing a Minimum Wage within a Tiered System

To ensure foster carers receive fair and adequate compensation, we propose the establishment of a minimum wage. This system will also incorporate tiered compensation reflecting carer’s qualifications, experience, and the complexity of the placements they undertake, particularly for high-needs children and adolescents.

This structured approach ensures that all foster carers are fairly compensated while encouraging the retention and recruitment of carers capable of meeting the most pressing needs within the foster care system.

9. Opposition to a Foster Carer Register

Key Points:

10. Consider a Two-Tiered Foster Care System

To enhance the effectiveness and adaptability of foster care, a two-tiered system should be considered to address the diverse needs of foster carers, providers, and children. This approach maintains loving, stable homes while accommodating and addressing the diverse needs of children and young people in care.

The two-tiered system ensures that all children receive the appropriate level of care and support, allowing foster carers to choose the path that aligns best with their skills and preferences.

Tier 1: Accredited Foster Carers

Professional foster carers will be equipped in every aspect of their work and backed by the support, protections, education and rights afforded by a central governing body.

Tier 2: Non Accredited Foster Carers

Non-accredited foster carers will continue to provide care for children who do not require the intensive support of a professional carer. This tier will retain a more traditional foster care model, suitable for carers who prefer not to pursue professional status.

This manifesto outlines actionable solutions for improving foster care and securing better outcomes for children.


We urge your party to support these essential reforms.