Sarah Jane Anderson
22nd July 1958
Lady Margarets School, London
London College of Printing
The University of Bath, Bath Academy of Art
University of Surrey, Roehampton
Following her work in NHS adolescent mental health, Anderson made the transition to foster carer. She has since been an advocate for foster carer’s rights and has campaigned and supported carers through varied organisations. She founded FosterWiki in 2021 which has gone on to become the single largest free resource for foster carers across the UK, with currently up to 780,000 page views and 18,000 unique users every month.
Anderson is married with a daughter and lives in Hampshire.
Sarah Jane Anderson was born in Putney, London on 22nd July 1958. Her parents were entrepreneurs and business owners in the London art world, clients included global galleries and museums, including the Tate, Tate Britain, V&A, Smithsonian, the Louvre, plus institutions such as Buckingham Palace and prominent international artists. In 1973 they won the Duke of Edinburgh’s Design Award.
Anderson was educated at Lady Margaret School, Parsons Green, the London College of Printing followed by Bath Academy of Art and then joined the family business. After changing direction in 2002.
she studied at Roehampton University gaining a degree in counselling psychotherapy, following this she took up a post specialising in adolescent mental health in the NHS.
In 2008 after working with looked after children in the NHS she became a foster carer, specialising in adolescence, including multiple placement breakdowns, step down from residential, adoption breakdowns, young people’s mental health. The move to foster care led her to campaign for foster carers rights and status, she says;
“As I moved into the fostering arena, I became starkly aware of how underrepresented and undervalued carers were, how insecure and unprotected they felt and their desire to be more respected, valued and seen as part of the team around the child.
Not only was this hard on a dedicated caring community, I felt it was affecting outcomes and standards across the industry for our children and young people. Not to recognise the value of the incredible workforce that underpins foster care was to completely miss a trick.”
After working on the committee of her in-house fostering association Anderson felt there was a need for more robust independent representation and change for foster carers.
In 2016 she joined the IWGB, a small independent union, and chaired the newly set up foster carer’s branch. She remained in the post for 3 years developing it into the largest branch of the union.
Anderson left the IWGB citing her unhappiness with the political direction, divisions in the union and recognising due to the very specific nature of the foster carers role that they needed their own dedicated representation.
Anderson developed other services for foster carers up until the landmark ruling NUPFC v The Certification Office in spring of 2021 at the Court of Appeal since she has worked as special advisor to the National Union of Professional Foster Carers.
In 2021 Anderson developed the free community resource FosterWiki.com, which launched in the October of that year. It is a free Wikipedia style platform for foster carers, it also serves the wider fostering services and industry and the 3rd sector. It is the only resource of its kind within the UK to be compiled by experts in the field of foster caring and a comprehensive compilation of resources, guides, legislation, policy and support.
Sarah Anderson has long held a mission to raise the standard of education for foster carers which remains inadequate and does not meet the needs of children in care, it leads to placement instability, sufficiency, children in care, who continue to be bounced around the system continue to have very poor outcomes due to this early instability and trauma. In 2023 after 3yrs of development with a wide scope of experts, the National Foster Carers Qualifications (NFCQ) was launched.
- Founded FosterWiki in 2021.
- Launched National Foster Carer’s Qualifications (NFCQ) 2023, Co-Founder.
- Working with The Department for Education (ongoing).
- Launched Noah’s Campaign in Parliament, sponsored by Caroline Nokes MP, November 2023.
- The 2022 independent survey on the impact of cost of living crisis on foster carers.
- All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on foster carers 2018.
- Worked with Children’s Minister in 2020 on impact of lockdown on children in care and foster carers.
- National Media appearances: BBC, ITV, Channels 4 & 5, BBC Newsnight & Victoria Derbyshire, TalkTV. The Times.
- Radio 4 Today Programme, Jeremy Vine Radio 2.
- Regional Media: BBC regional stations, local radio stations and media.
- Published: The Guardian, Community Care.
- Special Advisor to the National Union of Professional Foster Carers (NUPFC).
- Witness and intervenor in NUPFC v Certification Officer.
References and links
Information, Help and Support
Help and support created for foster carers, by foster carers, we are the experts by experience. We have the first foster carers knowledge bank.
Access both the open pages and members area. Both are free to access and footprint-free. The member’s area gives you privileged confidential access to FosterWiki’s experts by experience for advice and guidance. You will also find short courses and guides from the foster carer’s perspective, top tips, allegation help, templates, and the ability to add to FosterWiki. With more content being uploaded regularly.
Please let us know what information or advice pages you would find useful and we will put them in place. https://fosterwiki.com/register/