FosterTalk, is celebrating its first year of success following being awarded the contract to deliver a vital government funded service, Fosterline England. Fosterline is funded by the Department for Education and delivered by FosterTalk to provide a confidential free-of-charge service offering impartial advice and guidance on a broad range of issues affecting foster carers.
On the day of the anniversary, FosterTalk hosted a celebratory tea party to mark FosterTalk’s first year of delivering Fosterline. Among the attendees were: Councillor Sherrey, along with representatives from BAAF (British Association of Adoption and Fostering), BASW (British Association of Social Workers) and colleagues from councils and fostering agencies to help FosterTalk celebrate.
As well as celebrating FosterTalk’s first anniversary of delivering Fosterline, FosterTalk also announced the upcoming launch of the Fosterline Foundation. The Fosterline Foundation aims to raise money in order to keep the crucial Fosterline service going well into the future and to further enhance and develop support services to foster carers and help improve outcomes for looked after children and young people in England.
Fosterline supports foster carers and provides essential information and guidance to anyone interested in becoming involved in fostering. The Fosterline service includes a dedicated website (www.fosterline.info) and freephone national helpline (0800 040 7674), giving immediate access to experienced and trained advisors Monday to Friday from 9am-5pm. The website also offers online forums enabling visitors to share experiences and post questions or comments.
FosterTalk Ltd’s managing director Melody Douglas commented; “I am very pleased that our first year of delivering Fosterline has been such a success; during the last 12 months we have provided personal advice via telephone, email, web form and social media forums to over 12,600 individuals. I am immensely proud of the staff team at FosterTalk who have worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the Fosterline service across England which has enabled more people to contact the service and obtain the support, information and advice that they have needed. People who are already fostering have sought vital support and information on a range of matters including finances, allegations and other fostering matters and people who are interested in fostering regularly contact the services for advice and information on how to go about becoming a foster carer.”
Could you hold a Tea Party to Fundraise for the Fosterline Foundation?
FosterTalk is encouraging foster carers to hold their own fundraising tea party to raise money for the Fosterline Foundation. Melody added: “If people could donate the proceeds of their own tea party or a get together with friends for a coffee to the Fosterline Foundation it will help towards sustaining this valuable service to foster carers. If you would like to give a donation to the Foundation go to http://www.fosterline.info/fosterline-foundation/.”
FosterTalk’s Professional Advisor Jackie Edwards has received a very special invitation – to Buckingham Palace no less!
The Department for Education has invited Jackie to the Royal Garden Party today (3rd June 2014) to thank her for her long standing services to children, young people and families.
Jackie is a senior manager with over 25 years’ experience in the field of social care/social work with children in care in the voluntary, statutory and independent sectors.
Jackie played a significant role in the growth and development of two major Independent Fostering Agencies as well as setting up a new trade association for fostering providers – the NAFP. Another achievement of Jackie’s was establishing the Children's Advice and Representation Service for the NSPCC in partnership with Staffordshire County Council.
FosterTalk’s Managing Director Melody Douglas said, "We are extremely proud of Jackie, who has been involved with FosterTalk for over six years. Jackie has worked tirelessly with FosterTalk as Professional Advisor responsible for line managing the Foster Carers Independent Support Service. She was instrumental in FosterTalk’s development and delivery of Fosterline – England’s government funded support helpline and website for foster carers and those interested in becoming involved in fostering."
Congratulations Jackie, we hope you have a wonderful day!
FosterTalk is reaching a milestone this year – our 10th birthday! We have been supporting foster carers in the UK since 2004. We would like to say a big thank you to our partners and our members for their support and loyalty over the last ten years. We have grown significantly since our early days and now provide independent support to over 21,000 foster carers and work with over 110 fostering providers.
Managing Director, Melody Douglas spearheaded FosterTalk’s development as she recognised the need for independent support for foster carers. “I wanted to provide a whole range of specialised support for foster carers and for their existing family. We focus solely on the provision of support to foster carers so I would like to think that we are at the top of our game, although there is no room for complacency. We are always looking for ways to improve our service and level of support.”
Over the last ten years we have listened to our members and added a number of additional support services. For example, our popular tax and accountancy service and “FISS” (Foster Carers Independent Support Services) supports foster carers facing complaints or allegations. Another change came in 2007 when we became a not for profit company, this means that any profits made are ploughed back into FosterTalk to benefit our members.
Last June, FosterTalk was awarded the contract to deliver Fosterline England which is funded by the Department for Education (DfE). “An awful lot of hard work went into winning the contract,” says Melody, “and we are extremely proud to deliver Fosterline on behalf of the DfE. I hope that the service will continue to support all of those involved in fostering and encourage more people to become foster carers.”
Support and retention of foster carers is at the heart of what FosterTalk does. We are very proud that through FosterTalk’s support, foster carers who were on the verge of resigning reconsidered and continued with their vocation for years to come. Longevity of foster carers provides security and stability for looked after children and young people so we feel that our support is paramount. FosterTalk champions foster care and the needs of foster carers and we will endeavour to do this for the next ten years and for the next decades that follow.
Edward Timpson, Minister for Children and Families has today written to all foster carers in England to advise them about the government reforms that are planned to help make it easier to work as a foster carer. These reforms include:
Edward Timpson, Children’s Minister, congratulates FosterTalk on being awarded the contract to deliver Fosterline England from 25 June 2013...
FosterTalk Limited, Registered Company in England and Wales
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Registered Company Number: 06318354