Martin Narey, best known for his role as CEO of Barnardo’s, has been appointed by the government to head up a review into Foster Care practices in England and Wales and he’s just shared a personal address on Twitter inviting all those with a view to get in touch.
Setting aside for a moment the fact that this Inquiry is not the first of its kind (the government launched a similar one as recently as last year to little effect) or that it appears to be an investigation backed by local authorities who have had enough of fostering agencies luring people away from council run services, it is a good opportunity for young men and women to tell the government what needs to be improved.
We would also urge those contacting Martin to share their submissions to him somewhere public, if happy to do so.
The official line on the Department for Education’s consultation page is this:
“We want to learn from those who have an interest or experience in fostering, including children and their representatives, to build a better evidence base and gain first hand and frontline insight about how the fostering system works in practice and the issues and challenges facing it. This will help us to spread best practice and to understand where changes might be needed to make a lasting impact on outcomes for children in care.”
It’s worth nothing that as all government work has come to a halt as a result of the general election, it’s not clear whether this review will go ahead after June 8th or why Martin is asking for feedback to a personal email address, or perhaps one he’s created for feedback because government channels are currently closed, so making feedback count over and above government business is important. That’s why we suggest sharing your feedback online, somewhere highly visible if you’re comfortable doing so.
Martin is joined by Mark Owers as joint leads for this investigation. Mark’s formal title is Children’s Services Adviser (you can find him on Twitter at @markowers73), and he appears to have extensive experience working within the foster care sector as a children’s social worker, including time as a member of the Leadership Team at The Consortium Of Voluntary Adoption Agencies (CVAA), and ‘professional adviser’ to the Adoption Leadership Board.
The consultation description offers more on who it would like to seek views from and what kind of feedback they’re hoping to get:
We’d like to hear from the following about how to make fostering more effective in meeting the needs of children:
- foster carers
- children in care
- children and adults who have left care
We’re looking at:
- the types of fostering currently offered by providers
- the status, role and function of foster carers in relation to other professionals
- how we commission, regulate and inspect fostering settings
- what works best in fostering settings to improve outcomes for children and young people
- how we can improve the experiences of young people entering foster care, transitioning between placements, and leaving foster care
The consultation is now open, and closes at 5pm on 16th June, 2017.
Martin’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and you can chat to him on Twitter at @martinnarey.