Confidence in Care consortium aims to improve life chances of looked after children

A five-year programme aimed at improving the life chances of looked after children across Wales is set to launch after receiving a £4.75m award from the Big Lottery Fund.

Six charities lead by The Fostering Network Wales and including Action for Children, Barnardo’s, The British Association for Adoption and Fostering Cymru, and The Adolescent and Children’s Trust will seek to train 1,500 foster, kinship and residential carers using the Fostering Changes Programme.

Fostering Changes was developed by a team at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. It’s an evidence-based training course designed to empower carers to better manage the children and young people they’re looking after.

It was derived from research into parenting skills, attachment, educational attainment and the academic progression of looked after children in care.

Dr Emily Warren, director of The Fostering Network Wales, said, “This is the biggest project of its kind ever to have been undertaken in Wales. As a group of organisations delivering this work, we will be working towards developing a more positive outlook in young people towards their education and future career goals, increasing their resilience and life skills, and then using robust learning and evaluation evidence to influence future policy development in Wales.

“The scale of this programme of work really reflects the ambition of the sector as a whole to improve the lives of the children and young people in care in Wales. Our aim is that Confidence in Care will transform outcomes for looked after children in Wales over the next five years and influence the way children’s social care is delivered in most settings across the country for many more years to come.”