Foster Care Associates (FCA) has received the Leading Aspect Award for empowering staff and foster carers to drive up educational standards for looked after children and young people.
The Leading Aspect Award is a self-evaluation framework designed to judge the support of educational welfare within an organisation. FCA has received positive results based on criteria such as commitment to quality, teaching and learning, sharing good practice, and disseminating innovation.
The agency has proved particularly successful in empowering foster carers and staff to narrow the attainment gap for educational achievement for looked after children and young people.
As an integral part of FCA’s Team Parenting approach to foster care, education is considered important in increasing stability within a fostering placement and enhancing the future outcomes of looked after children and young people. Encouraging educational achievement is therefore considered a high priority for the agency and its foster carers.
Julie Archer, Head of Education at FCA, has welcomed the Award, stating that the recognition means a lot for the agency: “Achieving the Leading Aspect Award for FCA is important as it confirms that the strategies we use are effective in improving the outcomes of the children and young people placed with us. At FCA we have a commitment to ensure all children and young people placed with our foster carers receive an appropriate education. Education is paramount to stability within a foster placement and to enhance the life chances of children.
“Our Education Service works to identify and secure appropriate education provision by engaging with staff from schools and other agencies and working with foster carers to support the young people. In addition we also provide direct support to the children and young people wherever appropriate.
“Sharing this practice through the Leading Aspect Award heightens the awareness of the issues for looked after children all over the UK and, in particular, the importance of putting strategies in place to support children and young people to reach their educational potential.”
Throughout the UK there is a shortfall of around 10,000 foster carers. As the UK’s leading Independent Fostering Agency, FCA is seeking to address this shortage through a nationwide foster carer recruitment campaign and a fully integrated marketing approach. FCA seeks to raise awareness of fostering as a career, and the importance of supporting looked after children in education, in order to help improve the outcomes of young people in foster care across the UK.