07 December 2021

New report explores fostering in 2021

The views and experiences of foster carers and services have been published (7 December) in a new State of the Nation's Foster Care 2021 report from The Fostering Network.

The findings, based on a survey of foster carers and fostering services across the UK show:

  • 86 per cent of foster carers stated that their most recent experience had been positive
  • Almost a quarter of foster carers in Scotland said that they are currently caring for a child who they think should be under a long-term foster care arrangement but who is currently not
  • The most common reason for an unplanned ending to a foster care placement was at the foster carer’s request.

The report also highlights good practice and where improvements are needed, and makes recommendations for the national administrations of the UK, regulatory bodies, local authorities, and other decision-makers.

The report provides evidence that the biggest issue is how to secure the future recruitment and retention of enough high-quality foster carers to care for children and young people and argues for the need to value and recognise the important role foster care plays in providing a stable home in which children can flourish.

Joanne McMeeking, Head of Improving Care Experiences, said:

“This report provides evidence and recommendations on what support foster carers need to provide compassionate care, love, and enduring relationships that every child needs to thrive. It emphasises what we already know in Scotland – foster care allowances must be sufficient, foster carers need access to quality peer support, and a greater availability of support services for their own wellbeing and mental health.”

CELCIS facilitates a national Community of Practice for organisations involved with foster care in Scotland to share insight, ideas and discuss how to improve what support is available to meet what children and young people and their carers need.

Read the report