Reflective Fostering Study

  • Reflective fostering study
  • Author:FosterWiki
  • Published:July 2023
  • Country: United Kingdom

Last chance to join the Reflective Fostering Study

Are you a foster or kinship carer?

Do you want to influence support for carers?

Join the Reflective Fostering study and help us understand what kind of support can make a difference to you and the children you care for. The Reflective Fostering study is the largest study of its kind to take place in the UK. The study looks at how Reflective Fostering can make a real difference to your wellbeing and relationships between you and the children you care for.

If you are a registered carer looking after a child 4-13, then you have an opportunity to take part! The Reflective Fostering study welcomes foster carers and kinship foster carers from all ethnicities, genders, and backgrounds to take part. This will help to make sure we understand the needs of all carers in the diverse fostering community.

What is the Reflective Fostering Study?

To join the Reflective Fostering study, click here to fill out our form online.

What is the Reflective Fostering Programme?

The Reflective Fostering Programme has been developed by specialists at the Anna Freud Centre. It aims to support foster and kinship carers to provide the best possible care for the children they look after.

Reflective Fostering is all about helping carers look after themselves, so that they can build strong, supportive relationships with the children in their care.

I think we have noticed as well, we have been on quite a few courses, and on all the other courses it is all mentioned that you must look after yourself, you must keep looking after yourself to be able to carry on, but you do not get any answers on how to do that[..] and I think that doing this course is the first one where we actually got, yes, we now know how to look after ourselves.
(Foster carer participant)

The Reflective Fostering programme is for groups of six to ten carers and involves ten three-hour sessions run by social care staff and experienced foster carers, over a period of up to 12 weeks (with breaks for school holidays). Reflective Fostering sessions can be delivered face to face but have also been adapted for online delivery.

The main aim of the programme is to promote ‘reflective fostering’; that is, helping carers to be more reflective about their own emotions and actions, and those of children in their care. This is sometimes called ‘mentalizing’.

I realised that actually it is important for me to find me[..] and have my thoughts and feelings considered[..] so now I’ve got hold of me again.
(Foster carer participant)

Reflective Fostering helps carers to step back from situations and look at situations differently. Studies have suggested that when carers are able to do this, they can then build stronger relationships with the children they care for, with positive impacts on the wellbeing of these children (and their carers).

How can I join the Reflective Fostering Study?

If you want to join the Reflective Fostering study, please fill in this form A member of the Reflective Fostering study team will contact you to talk through what is involved, and answer any questions you have.

Or, if you want to find out more about the Reflective Fostering study, please email [email protected]

Who is funding the Reflective Fostering Study?

This Reflective Fostering study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Public Health Research programme (NIHR126422 Midgley). The views expressed in this website are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.

National Institute for Health and Care Research

A number of fostering organisations are collaborating with University College London (UCL), the University of Hertfordshire (UH), Kings College London (KCL), the University of East Anglia (UEA), and the Anna Freud Centre on this study about how best to support foster carers and kinship carers.

Contact us

Get in touch:
General enquiries: [email protected]
Data Protection: [email protected]
Clinical Trial Manager: [email protected]
Complaints: [email protected]
Programme site lead: [email protected]
Representatives of the sponsors: [email protected] (Professor J M Senior)

Reflective Fostering Sponsors
anna freud Fostering Reflective Fostering
The Mortgage Heroes