Fosterline Annual Report

This document contains the information reporting on the delivery of Fosterline by FosterTalk on behalf of the department for Education.

The Fosterline annual report aims to capture the impact that Fosterline has had upon enquirers to the service.

The report takes into account information received from both prospective and current foster carers.

The information reviewed takes into consideration the following methods of information gathering:

  • Measurement against agreed KPI’s
  • Voice over internet call statistics
  • Call information recorded on database
  • Demographics supplied by enquirers
  • Analysis of issues identified by enquirers
  • Analysis of the visitors to the website
  • Independent feedback via webforms
  • Survey of prospective foster carers that made contact to the Fosterline service
  • Survey of current foster carers (both local authority and independent agency carers in all aspects of foster care including kinship etc)

In producing this report FosterTalk has sought to establish the effect Fosterline has on encouraging prospective foster carers to complete the assessment and approval process, and to analyse the issues raised by current foster carers in order to inform and influence policy in the future.

Report Period (Yr 2) July 2014 to June 2015

“Foster carers provide an amazing service supporting some of the most vulnerable children within our society and very often foster carers receive little recognition for the dedication it takes to be a good foster carer. Fostering is an immense commitment for the whole family, requiring a need to work with a number of people across many professions. This in itself can add to the wide range of issues and challenges faced every day by foster carers. These challenges can lead to foster carers seeking extra help and support.
Fosterline helps to retain foster carers by giving them that little extra support just when they need it most, encouraging foster carers to explore a solution and remind them just how valued and what an essential commodity they are in the welfare and promotion of outcomes for the children in England.”

Steven Stockley
Fosterline Manager

FL Annual report 2014-15

Click image to see report

Key findings:

  • Free confidential, impartial, advice, information and signposting on all issues of concern provided to over 40,500 foster carers and prospective foster carers
  • An increase in the percentage of prospective foster carers from 11% to 16% accessing the service
  • Information provided to a potential 5,000 plus potential foster carers
  • 85% of all calls to Fosterline were answered within 1 minute
  • 70.8% of existing and 85.7% of prospective foster carers received information and advice from Fosterline that enabled them to decide what to do next
  • 91% rated the overall service as either good or excellent
  • 90% stating they would recommend the service to a friend, fellow foster carer or colleague
  • Fosterline is an independent advice and support service that enhances the support available to foster carers and is crucial to the recruitment and retention of foster carers
  • Fosterline is able to promote good working relationships between foster carers and fostering service providers
  • Independent evaluation by Birminham City University stated Fosterline provides a low-cost early intervention service which has the potential to provide a high social return for children who are fostered

Fosterline is not a lobbying service but realises its responsibility to represent the voice of the foster carer and will continue to report the issues responsibly. It is hoped that by raising the awareness of the issues foster carers and prospective foster carers have that policy can be informed and advised in the future to enhance the well-being of foster carers and promote good outcomes for the children and young people within the care system.
Fosterline fulfils a clear need for an independent, impartial advice and support service to enhance the services offered by LAs and IFAs to foster carers and assist government in the important role of the recruitment and retention of foster carers.

Click Annual Report Year 2 for more detail

Report Period (Yr 1) June 2013 to June 2014

“I am pleased to be able to congratulate FosterTalk on a successful first year of delivering Fosterline in England on behalf of the Department for Education.
In the first year of operation by FosterTalk, Fosterline has provided a service to almost 20,000 people by telephone, email and via the website.
Many of those accessing the service were foster carers experiencing difficulties in their fostering lives and the feedback received shows how helpful it is for them to have someone totally independent at the end of the line to offer them support and encouragement.
Others that made contact were interested in finding out more about a career in fostering and Fosterline Advisors were able to signpost them to their local fostering services in order to take that wish forward.
Fosterline has proved to be an extremely valuable service and one which the Government wishes to see continue into the future.”

Edward Timpson MP
Minister for Children and Families

front cover

Click image to see report

Key findings:

  • Free confidential, impartial, advice, information and signposting on all issues of concern provided to over 18,600 foster carers and prospective foster carers
  • Successful launch of a new website, dedicated to be the impartial source of information for foster carers and prospective foster carers in England
  • 77% of all calls to Fosterline were answered within 1 minute
  • 91% rating the knowledge of the advisor as 5 out of 5
  • 98% stated the advice given by the advisor was helpful
  • Information provided to a potential 2,000 plus potential foster carers
  • Over 40% of first time website visitors return to the site for additional information

Fosterline is an advice service for foster carers and prospective foster carers and the majority of callers are seeking help to resolve problems that have arisen with their fostering service. It is not the intention of Fosterline to be critical of fostering services and the information provided within the report is based on concerns raised by foster carers themselves, solely from their personal perspective. The report therefore reflects the views of the foster carers and prospective foster carers who have experienced a need for support and clarification of processes and procedures.

By sharing issues raised by callers to the Department for Education, foster carers can feel that they have a voice and that their views and opinions are being listened to by those responsible for devising policy. It is hoped that this will help inform policy development and raise awareness of fostering issues with policymakers in the future.

Click Annual Report Year 1 for more detail

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