The Department for Education has announced a £7 million funding package to support young people and their families most affected by coronavirus, through the See, Hear, Respond initiative, to provide targeted help to vulnerable children, young people and families affected by the virus and the measures put in place to stop its spread.

Fosterline, which has been delivered by FosterTalk on behalf of the Department for Education since 2013, offers a free, confidential helpline and interactive website for foster carers or people thinking of becoming foster carers.  FosterTalk have been awarded funding from this initiative to enable Fosterline to offer additional services to foster carers in England on a time limited basis.

With the funding provided FosterTalk can now offer two new services to support the retention and recruitment of foster carers during the pandemic.

  1. Fosterline Plus – independent one to one virtual support for current foster carers experiencing extreme anxiety and crisis, from experienced, independent, attuned advisors to work on a advocacy basis under strict parameters to encourage collaboration between the fostering service and foster carer.
  2. Specialist tax and benefits advice and support to the foster carer and members of the fostering household.

Steve Stockley, Managing Director of FosterTalk said: “The last three months has seen unprecedented times for all our families, and none more so than our foster families. Foster parents are incredibly adaptable but COVID-19 has seen additional stresses, anxieties and pressures impact on their family lives. This funding provides an important opportunity to improve both the retention and recruitment of foster parents by extending the Fosterline service to provide additional and specific crisis support.”

FosterTalk’s provision of services for foster carers through its membership helplines makes us acutely aware of the requirements of needs and issues faced by foster carers and those with an interest in fostering. FosterTalk’s mission statement and core values are to ` support those who care`. We believe that everyone has the right to feel valued and enabled to achieve their goals; everyone has the right to be treated with respect and to express their views and opinions; that they should be listened to and their views and opinions received in a non-judgmental way. The new Fosterline Plus service will provide foster carers with an even greater level of support.

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