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Fostering: research and innovation examined

19 April 2017

As part of its inquiry into fostering the Education Committee examines Ofsted's recently published figures, which show the reported number of applications by potential foster carers has fallen by a third and that only one in three local authority providers are rated as 'good' or 'outstanding'.

Purpose of the session

The session explores current research into areas such as peer support for carers, educational outcomes from children in care and concerns over special guardianship orders, as well as examining whether the system for commissioning placements is fit for purpose.

The Committee then investigates some of the new projects being piloted under the Department for Education's Innovation Programme, and considers how some local authorities are trialling new ways of working.

Witnesses include Matthew Brazier, a Specialist Adviser at Ofsted, and Melissa Green, Director of Operations at The Fostering Network. The Committee also hears from academics from Oxford, Bristol and York universities and the Acting Director of Children's Services at Leeds City Council, which has been held up as an example of good practice.


Wednesday 19 April 2017, Grimond Room, Portcullis House

At 9.30am

  • Matthew Brazier, Specialist Adviser, Children Looked After, Ofsted
  • Dr Heather Ottaway, Lecturer in Social Work with Children and Families, University of Bristol
  • Professor Judy Sebba, Director of the Rees Centre for Research in Fostering and Education, University of Oxford
  • Jim Wade, Honorary Fellow, Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of York

From 10.30am

  • Graham Archer, Director of Improvement and Learning for Children's Social Care, Department for Education
  • Simon Bower, Contract Manager for the South Central Independent Foster Care Framework, Bournemouth Borough Council
  • Melissa Green, Director of Operations, The Fostering Network
  • Steve Walker, Acting Director of Children's Services, Leeds City Council
  • Jonny Woodthorpe, Commissioning Coordinator, Bournemouth Borough Council

Further information

Image: iStockphoto