Fosterline Gets Top Marks All Round

Leading fostering charity, the Fostering Network has launched a new report in which foster carers state the importance of an essential adviceline. Fosterline, funded by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) and run by the Fostering Network is the only confidential adviceline for foster carers in England providing an independent source of expert advice and information on all five days of the week. The report published to evaluate the successfulness of Fosterline’s first year in operation, shows that Fosterline supplied accurate, impartial and timely advice to over 3,500 callers in 2005-06. The top three types of enquiry received by the adviceline related to changes in the law, allegations and financial support.

Caller satisfaction with the service was overwhelmingly high. 96 per cent of customers said Fosterline had provided them with helpful advice and 97 per cent said the Fosterline worker had considered their enquiry carefully and seemed to understand the situation. Three quarters of callers said the service had made a real difference to what happened next.

Malcolm Phillips, the Fostering Network’s Fosterline manager said: “The types of calls received at Fosterline highlight the wide range of challenges faced by those involved in fostering. This report demonstrates that Fosterline is providing a vital service, that supplying callers with the very best information and advice.

“With demand for the service continuing to increase, our ambition for the future is to help even more people who need it. We have already recruited a new member of staff to help deal with the high volume of calls and are discussing extending the opening hours. The whole team is looking forward to continuing to provide a top quality service and ensuring that more children and young people can thrive in foster care.”

Children’s Minister Parmjit Dhanda, said: “Foster carers make an amazing contribution to the lives of very vulnerable children and young people. It is essential that we provide foster carers with the support, advice and information they need. That is why Fosterline is so important and I am delighted that the Department for Education and Skills is funding such a vital service for carers.”

The Fostering Network is the UK’s leading charity for all those involved in fostering, and exists to ensure that all fostered children receive the highest standards of care.