Devon County Council applauded for work with fostered children

Fostering in Devon

Posted on: 5 February 2016

Devon County Council has been cited as an authority of good practice by The Fostering Network for its positive work with children in its care.

The Fostering Network this week launched a new report highlighting the importance of maintaining relationships between fostered children and their former foster parents.

Their report, Keep Connected: Maintaining Relationships When Moving On, follows national research among children in care and care leavers that showed that nearly a quarter of those surveyed had no contact with their former foster carers; and that nearly 30 per cent had been prevented from having that contact.

More than 80 per cent of children asked, said that it was important to be able to keep in touch with foster carers they have lived with.

The fostering charity says that continued relationships are vital where they’re deemed beneficial to the child, and have applauded Devon County Council for its work that recognises the importance of maintaining contact between fostered children and former foster parents.

The Council says that contact with former foster carers is one of the key elements to a successful transition for a child or young people when moving to new carers or adoptive families.

Councillor James McInnes, the Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Devon’s fostering service, said:

“Children who move to adoptive families need to know that they will not be forgotten by their former foster carers.

“We know that children can form strong relationships with new families while also maintaining a connection with their former carers, which is why we’ve developed transition plans that include ongoing contact with former carers.

“If transition planning is done well, children not only show less traumatic behaviour, but they also feel more empowered to develop secure attachments with their new families.”

Vicki Swain, campaigns manager at The Fostering Network said,

“We’ve been told in no uncertain terms by children and young people in foster care, and care leavers, that being able to stay in touch with their former foster carer is very important to them.

“The bond between a foster carer and their foster child can sometimes be stronger than that of the child and their birth parent, and we know the importance of valuing and supporting attachments particularly for these children in care who will most likely have previously experience loss.”

The Fostering Network is calling on UK Governments to do more to enable children and young people who move within, or out of, the care system to be able to maintain their most important relationships.

A copy of the Fostering Network report is available on their website.

Posted in: DCC Homepage | Health and Wellbeing