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What is the present state of foster care in London?

Over the past month, several high profile government publications on fostering have been released, paving the way for new discussions and changes to the sector. Each report makes for fascinating reading for London foster carers, but we’ve rounded up the key points below for you to read through. Still no regulations about bears yet though!

Putting Children First

Mother and daughter in front of Tower bridge in London on Bastille day celebration

The Department for Education’s report on delivering social care for children sets out some clear plans for the future. It highlights that it wants families to have more confidence in turning to professionals for help, and that foster carers should have more freedom in making decisions on behalf of the children they care for.

As well as findings into the way foster care is run across the country, the report highlights that both social and foster carers should be “prepared to learn from each other and redefine what works when ideas are tested, and evidence is shared and understood”. This demonstrates a willingness to experiment with new forms of collaborative care, something we’re incredibly excited about.

The Impact of Unproven Allegations on Foster Carers

The fear of false allegations has been a long-running concern among foster carers in London and elsewhere in the United Kingdom. The safety of children is of course of the utmost importance to authorities and carers alike, but this report suggested that more needs to be done to give all parties a better understanding of the investigation process, and a clearer definition of what is meant by ‘allegation’.
This report will hopefully help to bring an end to false allegation claims that have hit the headlines in recent years. Inconsistencies between the ways local authorities deal with allegations need to be addressed, according to the report, and here at Synergy Fostering, we are sure that this would help to improve the safety of children both in and out of London.

Care Quality Commission’s Report on Child Safeguarding

The CQC’s report spotlighted the importance of children’s voices and suggested that future social and care work needs to be centred around empowering children to speak and involving children during every stage of their care plan.
It also shines a light on the importance of foster care training and training for social care professionals, who need to have clearer roles and responsibilities defined in their job descriptions.
High profile cases within London involving the likes of Tracey Connelly have demonstrated what can happen when a child ends up in the wrong hands. However, Barnet Council has just approved proposals to spend an extra £1.9million on its children’s services, and we are hoping that other London boroughs follow and put quality care at the top of their agendas.
These reports have outlined recent developments within social and foster caring and emphasised that the way forward is collaboration, trust and experimentation. However, they also show that some areas of care are underperforming and that there’s still some way to go to ensure the delivery of consistently high-quality care for children in London and across the UK.
As always, we will keep you up to date on all of the latest foster care developments as soon as we get them. If you are interested in becoming a foster carer or want more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at Synergy Fostering. We can’t wait to hear from you.