Help and Support for Foster Carers

  • FosterWiki
  • Author:FosterWiki
  • Published:2021
  • Country: United Kingdom

Help and support created for foster carers, by foster carers, we are the experts by experience, we have the knowledge bank

Help and Support for Foster Carers

FosterWiki

FosterWiki is an information and advisory service for the foster care sector, founded by those who’s experience is grounded in practice, it’s the first foster carer’s knowledge bank. A free knowledge repository with open access to all, with both the open pages and members area free to access and anonymous.

FosterWiki is updated regularly with information crucial to the fostering role and has leading articles on modern fostering, critical reports and analysis. In 2021 it delivered the independent cost-of-living-survey for foster carers and in 2023 launched ‘Noah’s campaign’ in Parliament to prevent the loss of children’s crucial relationships throughout their care journey.

FosterWiki has a myriad of expert advisors and a FosterWiki Care Experienced Advisory Group to help shape and guide future campaigns, information and training. FosterWiki works with The Department of Education, MP’s and local government, with local authorities and agencies.

The member’s area gives you privileged confidential access to FosterWiki experts for advice and guidance. You will also find short courses and guides from the foster carer’s perspective, top tips, allegation help, templates and more, with content uploaded on a regular basis.
FosterWiki powers The National Foster Carers Qualifications: https://nfcq.co.uk

NUPFC – The National Union of Professional Foster Carers

The only government-approved and certified trade union dedicated to foster carers, the NUPFC will support and protect you fully in allegations. You will have a dedicated caseworker who will assist you with your defence, to be on your side and virtually attend panels and other critical meetings.

They say “We provide legal advice to our members should they need it including representation” and say their commitment to members is “to provide them with protection, security and representation during any allegation or standards of care complaints process, support carers in daily issues relating to their fostering role and solutions to problems between you and your local authority or agency.”

Head of legal, Jacquline McGuigan (https://www.tmpsol.com/jacqueline-mcguigan) says: “We all want the process of fostering to run smoothly, but when it doesn’t it’s important to know you are not alone. As a member of the NUPFC you can be assured of comprehensive legal advice and services on all matters surrounding foster care should it be required.”

The NUPFC also campaigns for the rights of foster carers

They work with companies to get you discounts on shopping, travel and more.
Similar to other unions and organisations, they require that you are a member already when you need to access help, support, allegation casework and representation. For more details: https://www.nupfc.com

The Fostering Network

Your provider may commission the Fostering Network to support you, you can also join as an individual member. The Fostering Network is the UK’s leading fostering charity and membership organisation, they bring together everyone who is involved in the lives of fostered children to make foster care the very best it can be. Their mission is; “a society where the importance of fostering is understood, recognised and supported”.

They provide advice and information to foster carers and fostering providers on a range of issues that affect the fostering role including approval, finance, allegations, legislation and relationships with fostering services. They have a legal helpline and support workers in allegations to guide you through the process (however, this is not a defence, casework or representation).

They say:
“Being a member of The Fostering Network helps you to work effectively as part of the fostering team and helps us to make foster care better for children across the UK. With almost 60,000 foster carers and more than 400 fostering service members, we connect everyone involved in fostering.”

The Fostering Network conduct its influential ‘State of the Nation’ foster care survey annually and campaign on many levels for foster carers and foster children around the UK.

Fosterline

Fosterline is a free, confidential, impartial and supportive for your carer, or if you are thinking of becoming a foster carer if you are thinking of becoming a foster carer.

They say:
“Fosterline is a free confidential helpline for foster carers and prospective foster carers in England, delivered by The Fostering Network on behalf of the Department for Education, to assist in the recruitment and retention of foster carers. Fosterline responds to enquiries from current and prospective foster carers by telephone and email, from Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm (except for Bank Holidays).

Foster carers using email or webforms to contact Fosterline will receive a response within 24 hours, or on the next working day, if outside of working hours. A voicemail facility is also available and calls will be responded to within the same timeframes.

Fosterline supports fostering services in the recruitment and retention of foster carers by: Providing free, confidential, impartial, advice, support and signposting to foster carers and prospective foster carers on a wide range of issues affecting them including; allegations, staying put, special guardianship, tax, benefits, care planning, and many more.”

Fosterline is the Government’s fostering helpline, The Fostering Network currently has the contract for its delivery.
For more information visit their website: https://www.fosterline.info

FosterTalk

Fostertalk provides information on various fostering-related matters, you can be an individual member or might be a member through your fostering provider.

Similar to Fostering Network they have support workers for allegations, we advise you to check their website for what level of support this is. They say their allegations support workers enable foster carers to be ‘informed and guided throughout the allegations process’ and they are there to offer ’emotional support’ and they have a legal line.

Their website will give you the details: https://fostertalk.org
Foster Talk is part of the Martin James group of companies.

Other unions and organisations

There are other unions (such as the GMB, Unite and the IWGB) and organisations whose membership is open to foster carers and these can be found on google. It is important when researching these organisations that you ensure the support for, and casework for foster carers is specific and specialised.

Always check that these more generic unions have caseworkers and reps who are fully trained and experienced in foster care support, foster carer contracts, agreements, child protection, fostering legislation, fostering minimum standards, policies and procedures as it is a highly specialised area and those representing you need to be specialists and qualified in this area.

What foster carers say

Allegation Allegations Foster Fostering Fostering Network fostertalk help
FosterWiki Survey 2024

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