Foster care agencies run for profit by private investors are pushing up the cost of placing vulnerable children with families. This, along with overworked social workers and under supported families mean a broken and outdated system. Disruptive start up Now Foster are challenging this by creating a not-for-profit agency that is supportive, equitable and ethical, and working across the UK to reach a new demographic of carers. Launching this month, we are featuring them in our community spotlight where Sara, CEO, shares their vision and purpose for the organisation. Sail worked with them on brand strategy and identity recently to support accelerating impact.
Speaking with Sara Fernandez, CEO at Now Foster, she said “Now Foster is a team of innovative social workers, designers and entrepreneurs who want to change how fostering is done. We will work with councils across the UK to find and empower brilliant people to care for children and young people.
We have come together as a team to completely reimagine foster care, by offering kinder recruitment, more bespoke training and a connected community for peer support. Most people have not come across the foster care system before. You may know someone who has adopted, but are probably less likely to have met people who foster. We want everyone to know how fostering works and what it could add to your life. We want more people to experience the joy of fostering.
There’s lots of choice and flexibility in fostering, and this is something that a lot of people don’t know about. You could offer anything from a long-term placement to a weekend each month or unplanned placements for a few days. We are looking for people who want to be there for a child or young person, supporting them at a significant time in their lives.
There are big challenges in the fostering system, including a huge shortage of foster carers who can support children and young people. By 2026, we expect the UK will need an additional 25,000 carers. At the moment, there are private providers who fill part of this shortage, making profit from children in care. This means too many children and young people are separated from their siblings when they enter the care system or sent hundreds of miles from home. These negative experiences contribute to poor outcomes in the long term. However, we believe that we can fix fostering together, through partnering with progressive local authorities and people like you.
We are calling for people to take the first step towards learning more. You can look at the website and read stories of professionals who have juggled caring with busy jobs, or families who have made fostering fit their lives. There are lots of ways in which you can get involved, from spreading awareness of fostering, to co-hosting an event with us. And if you are ready to explore how you could give a safe home to a child for a period of time, you can find out more as part of our readiness checker, or just book a time to talk to us!”
Find out More:
Learn more about fostering in the UK you can read:
- My Name is Why by Lemn Sissay
- Behind Closed Doors by Polly Curtis
- The Adoption & Fostering Podcast hosted by social worker and adoptive parent, Al Coates.