Independent Evaluation of Fosterline

FosterTalk comminssioned Birmingham City University (BCU) to carry out an independent evaluation on Fosterline, the dedicated helpline and interactive website for foster carers to access free, confidential, information, advice and support.
FosterTalk is funded by the Department of Education (DfE) in England to deliver the Fosterline service. The independent evaluation was for the period June 13 to December 14.

The independent evaluation covered three strands – literature review, a survey of existing and prospective foster carers and in-depth semi-structured interviews. The survey and interviews focused on foster carers’ motivation to foster, their experiences of fostering children and the support and advice received from Fosterline in their fostering role.

Findings highlighted the following
* Fosterline provides a low cost early intervention service, which has the potential to provide a high return for children who are fostered
* Increased promotion to support wider awareness of Fosterline is needed
* Improvements to the communication triangle between foster carers, social workers and fostering agencies, improved working conditions called for too

Edward Timpson MP, Minister for Children and Families said in the report’s foreword – “Fosterline provides a quick response, immediate telephone support and friendliness of competent staff. Fosterline has proved to be an extremely valuable service and one which the Government wishes to see continue into the future”.

As foster carers have quoted below, Fosterline is an essential service to continue –

“Fosterline helpline has been the single most important service
to me as a foster carer”

“Foster care is a role like no other, it is incredibly stressful and other people cannot provide the unique support we sometimes need but Fosterline does provide that support and it is a life line when we need it”

“They (Fosterline) kept me sane…
the message they sent me was we’re here for you”

To read the executive summary click here

To read the full report click here

exec summary IE BCUIE BCU full report

 

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