The following people/organisations provide advocacy and support for young people in the UK.
The Children’s Commissioner for England: https://www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/
The Children’s Commissioner for Wales: https://www.childcomwales.org.uk/
The Children’s Commissioner for Scotland: https://www.cypcs.org.uk/
The Children’s Commissioner for Northern Ireland: https://www.niccy.org/
The National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS): https://www.nyas.net/
Coram Children’s Legal Centre: https://www.childrenslegalcentre.com/
Coram Voice: https://coramvoice.org.uk/
The charity for children in care and young care leavers https://www.becomecharity.org.uk/.
Leaving foster care – information for care leavers.
Below are some links to organisations who can offer advice and support to care leavers throughout the UK.
Become is a charity for young care leavers in England and Wales. Contact Become on 0800 023 2033 or https://www.becomecharity.org.uk/care-the-facts/being-a-care-leaver/#
The Child Law Advice Service provides legal advice and information on family, child and education law affecting children and families in England. This service is provided via this website packed with how to guides and information pages. A dedicated intensive support telephone line is also available for complex matters and clarifying questions. Contact them on 0300 330 5480. Or https://childlawadvice.org.uk/information-pages/services-for-children-leaving-care/
Catch 22: Catch22’s wide ranging provision delivers holistic support to looked- after children and care leavers to improve their life chances. https://www.catch-22.org.uk/offers/looked-after-children-and-care-leavers/
Who Cares? Scotland supports care experienced people to have their voice heard and we make that happen in a number of ways. For more information visit: https://www.whocaresscotland.org/
Kinship Scot provides information on benefits for care leavers; https://kinship.scot/looked-after-children/benefits-for-care-leavers/
Shelter Scotland provides advice and information for care leavers in Scotland. https://scotland.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/advice_topics/finding_a_place_to_live/leaving_home/what_if_im_leaving_care
Shelter Cymru has extensive guidance for care leavers in Wales. Call them on 0345 075 5005 or visit https://sheltercymru.org.uk/get-advice/advice-for-young-people/young-people-in-care/
The Care Leavers Foundation has been able to assist young care leavers in Northern Ireland since it began its UK grant-giving programme in 1999. Now activities have been extended to the Republic of Ireland. Established in 2008, Care Leavers Ireland makes grants to care leavers in the Republic of Ireland with a particular emphasis on education. https://www.thecareleaversfoundation.org/Care_Leavers_Ireland
If you are a FosterTalk member, our friendly fostering advisors or legal advice line can support you with leaving care issues for your young person. Call us on 01527 836910
What is kinship care?
Kinship care is when a child lives full-time or most of the time with a relative or friend who isn’t their parent, usually because their parents aren’t able to care for them. That relative or friend is called a ‘kinship carer’, and it’s estimated that around half of kinship carers are grandparents, but many other relatives including older siblings, aunts, uncles, as well as family friends and neighbours can also be kinship carers.
There are lots of different types of kinship care, and if you’re a kinship carer, you might find that as circumstances change the type of kinship carer you are changes too. Kinship care includes children who may be:
- living in an informal arrangement made by their parents.
- ‘looked after’ by the local authority and placed with kinship foster carers.
- on a Child Arrangements Order or Special Guardianship Order.
Kinship carers are also often referred to as ‘family and friends carers’ or ‘connected people’ by local authorities and in official documents.
If you are a kinship carer and would like advice and support, visit the Grandparents Plus website on https://www.grandparentsplus.org.uk/Pages/Category/advice-and-support
If you are a Special Guardian you can also benefit from FosterTalk’s Special Guardians Membership offer. Please click here for more information.
This group is for everyone involved or interested in foster care to share practice; explore ideas; discuss issues/new developments and access resources. Membership particularly welcome from foster carers, social workers, fostering service providers, training and development staff and policy makers. Developed in partnership by the British Association for Adoption and Fostering, the Fostering Network, FosterTalk, the Nationwide Association of Fostering Providers and the Department for Education.
What are the benefits of FIE?
FIE provides a whole range of tools to help share knowledge and discuss matters with others.
- Discussion forums – share thoughts and good practice or ask for advice and practical solutions.
- Blogs – reflect on your work and what you’ve learnt, share your opinions.
- A library – share reports, research, presentations, videos and images.
- Event promotion – find out about forthcoming events and promote your own events, training sessions and workshops.
- Connections – connect with other Knowledge Hub or FIE group members and follow their activity.
- Instant and Direct messaging – easily send messages to other registered Knowledge Hub members.
- Email notifications – set up regular e-alerts for your groups, connections, messages and individual content items of your choice.
- Social media links – link your profile to other social network accounts you might have, for example Twitter, LinkedIn etc.
- Personalised homepage – access everything via your activity streams on your homepage. It’s personalised to you depending on who you’re connected to, which groups you join and which conversations you’ve contributed to.
- A clever search function – that not only allows you to find things more easily, but also enables the information to find you, based on your profile and activity.
To register and for more information, click here.
Fosterline England is delivered by FosterTalk on behalf of the Department for Education. Fosterline is a free, impartial, confidential helpline and interactive website for foster carers and prospective foster carers in England. Opening hours are 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday. Call Fosterline on 0800 040 7675 or visit www.fosterline.info
Fosterline Wales is funded by the Welsh government and offers a bilingual advice service on Monday to Friday 9.30 am to 12.30 pm on 0800 316 7664.
Fosterline Scotland is funded by the Scottish government and is available Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 4 pm. Call them on 0141 204 1400.
FosterTalk members are entitled to free tax and benefits advice from our experienced tax advisors.
Go to our Members Area for more information.
If you are not a member, some useful information is contained below.
Department for Work and Pensions: https://www.gov.uk/browse/benefits
HM Revenue and Customs (Tax and National Insurance) https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs
Tax Credit Helpline: 0345 300 3900
Newly self- employed helpline: 0300 200 3504
Self Assessment Helpline: 0300 200 3300
Self Assessment Payment Helpline 0300 200 3835
NIC Deficiency Helpline 0300 200 3503
Self Employed NIC Helpline 0300 200 3505
Payment Enquiry Helpline 0300 200 340
Income Tax in Scotland: https://www.gov.uk/scottish-income-tax
Income Tax in Wales: https://www.gov.uk/welsh-income-tax
Income Tax in Northern Ireland: https://borderpeople.info/a-z/income-tax-in-northern-ireland.html