The idea of having a Foster Carer Charter came from a need to share an understanding what foster care is about. Whilst within the network of professionals (social services, social workers, therapists as well as many voluntary organisations concerned with the welfare of children) the concept of fostering is generally very clear, this does not seem to be the case in the public arena. Secondly, it is widely accepted within the fostering sector that foster carers are too often still not accepted as part of the professional team working with a child.
It was recognised by the Government, as well as by independent organisations, that more work needed to be done to strengthen the position of foster carers in the UK, and to work towards providing the public with a more accurate picture of what foster carer is.
The Foster Carer Charter also helps to promote a unified understanding within UK Fostering of the values of the organisation, and the expectations between foster carers and staff at UK Fostering.
We believe that it is important to keep the Charter under review so that it reflects accurately the values of the organisation. The message of the Charter should penetrate to all areas and aspects of UK Fostering; our foster carers, children and young people, and customers. We are therefore looking to use the Charter as a reference tool at trainings for foster carers as well as staff and involve children and young people, where appropriate, in discussions about its contents in order to ask for their contributions.
The Charter that UK Fostering has implemented follows the structure and much of the content, as was initially drafted by the Fostering Network. We believe it is organised, relevant, rich in beneficial content, and designed to be easy to understand.