Hackney project offers support network to new foster carers

In this issue of Community Update, we would like to congratulate Hackney Fostering on being awarded our Commitment to Excellence Award.

There has been a surge of recent media coverage about fostering: from Barry Keoghan’s wonderful Oscar 2023 nomination to Lemn Sissay’s harrowing autobiographical novel and similarly titled, ‘My name is Why, ‘ about the care system. The science on attachment and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) is now well established, especially with children in the care system.

Unfortunately, record numbers of children are entering in the UK care system who would benefit from foster carer arrangements and with record low levels of current foster carers available to support, the whole system needs a radical shake-up.

Hackney Fostering Service is successfully changing the fostering narrative through its implementation of the national Fostering Network model: Mockingbird. In this support network, an experienced foster carer (hub) acts as faux grandmother to satellite foster carers and their families. The scheme empowers foster carers with a support network and allows children to meet others, forming an extended family network. 

Last year, Hackney’s Children and Families Service was delighted to receive The Children and Young People Now Workforce Development Award for its important anti-racist Praxis work. There was also a wonderful Fostering Network accolade for a very talented Hackney young person: The Outstanding Achievement by a Young Person Award. These awards are wonderful for recognising the grit and determination of lovely, young foster people.

We caught up with Emma Harry, Fostering Recruitment & Retention Manager at Hackney Fostering Service,

“Hackney needs more foster carers, the country needs more foster carers – a lot of children that come into care are 8+ so we need carers with a spare bedroom that are able to care for this age group. 

There are a number of ways to foster. A foster carer may care for a child on a long-term basis, until they are 18 years old, raising them with the support and supervision of the local authority. A child may be placed in foster care on a short-term basis while a parent is in hospital, or needs to make changes to their home and lifestyle to ensure the safety of their child on return.”

The award-winning fostering service offers extensive foster carer support, including certified therapeutic parenting training for specialist teenager fostering and group and individual supervision. 

Emma and the team have seen the direct, positive impact that fostering can have on children, and their families,

“I recently met a lady, who was grateful for the support and the time fostering gave her to make changes, so her children could return home and know her children were in a safe place. This was over 30 years ago and she still speaks so highly of the foster carer and what that time did for her and her family.”

If you are interested in fostering in the Hackney area, see the details below:

T 020 83564028