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Case Studies

Examples of current care and education practice in Wales

Practice Materials

Resources used by education and social care practitioners

Research and Reviews of Practice

A range of articles and reports from across the UK

Government Policy and Strategies

Welsh policy and planning, with key UK documents included

Key Contacts

For further advice and collaboration

Explore Resources



> Read about the latest updates

Care and Education Events


Case Studies

> Examples of current care and education practice in Wales

Practice Materials

> Resources used by education and social care practitioners

Research and Reviews of Practice

> A range of articles and reports from across the UK

Government Policy and Strategies

Focus Pages


> #MessagesToSchools

> Care Leavers Toolkit

> Getting More Involved

>Residential Care Conference

>Cultural & Creative Engagement

From Foster Carers for Foster Carers

From Young People For Young People


Key Contacts

> For further advice and collaboration


Please note that unless otherwise stated, all materials are sourced externally.  While we make every effort to ensure the reliability and accuracy of the website, we cannot accept responsibility for the content of external links or the use of downloaded / accessed materials hosted here.

Key Contributor: 

The Fostering Network - Working Hand in Hand

The education magazine for foster carers. 

A foster carer’s guide to inspiring and supporting care leavers to Higher Education


This guide is written for foster carers in Wales who are in a position to support and encourage a young person in care who is thinking about applying, or has recently applied, to study at university.

The guide provides practical information and guidance including information with regards to qualifications, choosing the right course, the UCAS application process as well as financial, emotional and general support. The guide also outlines care leaver’s support available from each university in Wales, and links to resources and websites detailing more information about student life.

This guide will enable foster carers to provide the level of support and guidance that any good parent would want for any child - helping them to be happy, achieve educational success and develop into successful adults.

Although this guide focuses on access to Higher Education, some of the information is equally applicable to young people studying Further Education. Care leavers will always need their foster carer’s support regardless of what qualification they are studying for or working towards.

It is hoped that this guide inspires both foster carers to be ambitious for the children they care for, and for the children and young people themselves to believe that they can
aspire and achieve. Being in care should not be a barrier to going to university.


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NEW! Thrive Magazine Special Edition: Friends and Relationships


New edition of Thrive, a dedicated magazine for looked after children

Since 2005, Thrive magazine produced by The Fostering Network in Wales has provided information and guidance to children and young people in foster care. The objective of the Thrive magazine is to empower young people with experience of foster care and provide a platform from which they can express their views.

Earlier this year we worked with several groups of young people in Wales (NYAS and Whitchurch High School, Cardiff) to hear what they had to say about fostering. The young people shared their experiences and views with us which helped inform and develop the latest edition of Thrive focusing on ‘Building Relationships’.

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Amy’s Diary: A fostered young person’s journey through secondary school


This is the fictional diary of Amy. Amy came into foster care when she was in Year 6, as a result of neglect and physical abuse. She spent a few weeks in an emergency foster placement, before being placed with Jennie. She was fortunate enough to be able to stay at her own primary school.

This is her story of secondary school. With notes for teachers and educators.


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First Educators: Our role in raising the educational aspirations and outcomes of looked after children and young people

Author: The Fostering Network (in association with Welsh Government)


•Exploring the role of foster carers as first educators
•Getting involved and working with the wider educational team
•Navigating the system
•Innovation and learning from The Fostering Network

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Making it Happen: How foster carers can help children raise their aspirations and fulfil their ambitions in education


This short publication aims to inspire you as foster carers to help the children in your care raise their academic aspirations and fulfil their potential in education. It gives you some starting points to help you understand the education system better. And it gives you some tips to help you consult, challenge and collaborate with schools and others, so that everyone can help fostered children to aim high and fulfil their educational dreams.


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Thrive magazine for young people: Reviews


Whether you love ‘em or loathe them, reviews are a great way to get your
feelings and opinions heard. This edition of is packed full with tips and ideas to help you get your views across. It will help make your reviews more interesting, get the people you want there and make sure that you take part in the way that you want to.
This magazine has been written for you!

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Thrive magazine for young people: Education


Why this special edition? Whether you love it or hate it, school is important. If you do well at school you will increase your chances of getting what YOU want out of life. But sometimes, if you are in care, school can be a slog. You might feel maybe that you are treated differently to everyone else. That some teachers don’t have high hopes for you getting on. Perhaps, you are being bullied? Or you find it hard to make friends in a new school?

Hang in there. Thrive is here to help. This edition is packed full with tips and ideas to help you get the best out of school.


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Thrive magazine for young people: School counselling


Ok, so you're in care and sometimes it's tough but there are people that can help you.  Do you know where to get that help?


Provides guidance, advice, and suggestions regarding access to counselling for young people in care.


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When I’m Ready FAQ: Planning transition to adulthood for care leavers


This resource draws on the questions, ideas and suggestions presented through our national consultation work with foster carers, fostering practitioners and staff across Wales.


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Contributions from other sources


Pathways is designed to help you start thinking about what you are doing just now and what you would like to be doing in the future. It will help you think about your hopes for the future and how to make these hopes a reality. Just because you are starting work on this, it does not mean that you will have to move on from where you are living straight away. Part of the reason for doing this is to make sure that you move on at the best time for you and
have the support you need. As you think about moving on towards more independent living you will almost certainly need some help along the way. Local authorities have a responsibility to find out what needs you have so that you can be put in touch with the right people and get all the help you are entitled to. Having an idea about what you want to do and a plan of how to get there is important in achieving the most from your life. Pathways will help you to do this.

pathways HANDBOOK

This Handbook accompanies the Pathways materials. These materials provide a framework for needs assessment and action planning for young people who have been looked after. Under the Children (Scotland) Act 1995, all Scottish Local Authorities have a duty to ensure that young people are prepared for the time when they will no longer be looked after and that an assessment of their aftercare needs is carried out. Plans should be made and put into action to ensure that a young person receives the support and assistance that they are entitled to. This handbook should be read in conjunction with ‘Supporting Young People Leaving Care in Scotland: Regulations and Guidance on Services for Young People Ceasing to be Looked After by Local Authorities’. Where possible, the appropriate reference to the Regulations and Guidance is highlighted in the Pathways Handbook. The purpose of this Handbook is to try and ensure that everyone can make best use of the Pathways process in order to achieve the best outcomes for the young person.

Prepare for Leaving Care: Final Publication

Numerous studies have highlighted that people with care experience in Europe are amongst the most socially excluded groups and are at greater risk of poor outcomes in education, health, employment, criminality, mental health and social functioning in general as compared to the wider population.

Leaving the formal alternative care system is an important phase for both young people and the service providers responsible for their care and development. All the efforts and investments made throughout the child’s alternative care path risk being rendered futile if the preparation for leaving care, the transition out of care and aftercare services fail to provide the individualised support the young person needs.

Prepare for Leaving Care: Practical Guidance

Leaving the formal alternative care system is an important phase both for young people and the service providers responsible for their care and development. It should represent the effectiveness of investment in State and non-State services and care professionals to empower and enable young people leaving care to transition into independent living successfully and become active members of their communities. However, while the data available about young people leaving care are uneven and relatively meagre in numerous countries, what exists makes systematically depressing reading. Although some care leavers go on to lead successful and fulfilling lives, many struggle for years. Very few young people remain in care placements beyond 18, and a majority leave at just 16 or 17 years of age. In short they have compressed and accelerated transitions to adulthood which contributes directly to their vulnerability and to their marginalisation from education, the labour market and other spheres of life in society.

Why is this Practice Guidance needed?
When young people in an alternative care placement reach a certain age, the State no longer has legal responsibility for ensuring that care, and they have to leave the care setting. This age may differ from country to country. In practice, leaving care is a major life event involving a process of transitioning from childhood dependence in an out-of-home care setting and professional support to self-sufficiency.

Language that cares. Changing the way professionals talk about Children in Care (TACT)

Language That Cares is a collaborative e ort led by TACT that aims to change the language of the care system. Language is a powerful tool for communication but sometimes the way that it is used in social care creates stigma and barriers for understanding. Language is power, and we want children and young people to feel empowered in their care experience.

We have asked children and young people about their wishes and feelings on the day to day language used with, or to talk about, them and Language That Cares is their work.

Language That Cares is not an absolute list of all words used in the care system and does not represent everyone’s view. However, it starts a much necessary discussion about the way we communicate and engage with our children and young people.

Looked after children in education resource for Wales

This resource is based on Children looked after friendly schools, which was commissioned jointly by Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf local authorities utilising PDG LAC funding.  The content was developed by Andrea Higgins, Academic Director and Programme Coordinator in Cardiff University’s School of Psychology, working closely with Hannah Bevan and Jess Jones, LAC Education Coordinators from Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil. The resource is to assist all professionals who support the education of the children and young people who are looked after. For consistency with the Children looked after friendly schools document, “Children looked after” or “CLA” will be used to reference looked after children throughout the resource.

The content of this resource was greatly supported by the people who have been most significant in developing our understanding around improving the lives of children who are looked after. Their knowledge and experience has been hugely influential. It is much of their thinking and teaching that has underpinned what has been presented in this resource. Specifically, these are: Louise Bombèr, Kim Golding, Heather Geddes, Dan Hughes and Marie Delaney.

This resource provides the information and advice needed by schools (and all settings within the educational system) that will help them to become more CLA Friendly. Schools that are most effectively able to meet the needs of looked after children are those with staff who have knowledge and understanding of the barriers and challenges they face and where the systems are structured to actively promote the best possible outcomes for this most vulnerable group.

The Essential Bits: facts and terminology

What we need to know about children in the care system

The whole school CLA friendly approach

Preventative Approaches: Building the resilience of our CLA

Responsive Strategies: CLA who are presenting challenges

Working with Others

The Voices of the Child and the Young People

The Foster Carer

The Other Professionals

Advice and Information

Children Looked After Friendly Schools

Guidance from Education Wales

Advocacy – A guide for professionals

Coram Voice's Advocacy Guide for Professionals explains what advocacy is and when one might be deemed necessary.

Sorted and supported: Your guide to leaving care entitlements

Coram Voice's guide to Sorted and supported: Your guide to leaving care entitlements provides advice to those who are leaving care.

Advocacy Toolkit: The rights of disabled young people in the transition planning process

It is vitally important that all young people (including those with disabilities) are supported to achieve the best possible outcomes as they move into adulthood. Without the right support this transition can become more difficult and stressful than necessary, having a negative impact on the young person’s wellbeing, happiness and progress. For that reason Coram Voice have produced this tool kit to help advocates, professionals and carers support disabled children with the transition from children’s to adult’s services.

Language that cares: Changing the way professionals talk about Children in Care

Language that cares: Changing the way professionals talk about Children in Care provides a framework for professionals and the language they might use when talking about children who are in care.

Getting your voice heard in your review meeting

Getting your voice heard in your review meeting can be a challenge! This guide will give you some practical tips and ideas on how to be more involved in the future.

Dealing with Trauma in the Classroom- strategies for teachers

Dealing with Trauma in the Classroom- strategies for teachers

This handout addresses how you can:

• Understand the impact of trauma
• Recognise it
• Deal with it
• Keep yourself well and safe

Reporting education data for looked after children to Corporate Parenting Panels: A recommended framework for All Wales use

Following a meeting of Welsh Government, LACE Representatives from several consortia and a commissioned consultant it was agreed that any reports presented to Corporate Parenting Panels and Councils should include data as indicated in the following documentation.

This information comes from the National Strategic Group.

The CLA Friendly School's Resource

Authors: The CLA Friendly School's Resource is a collaborative project between Merthyr Tydfil CBC and Rhondda Cynon Taff CBC using PDG LAC funding.

Summary: This resource has been prepared to assist all professionals who support the education of the children and young people who are Looked After

Download the resource:

Self Assessment and Action Planning Resource for Supporting Looked After Young People and Care Leavers in Post-16 Learning

Author:  Learning and Work Institute (L&W), in partnership with the Welsh Government.


Summary: The purpose of this resource is to enable all post-16 learning providers to develop effective and comprehensive provision that secures good educational outcomes for looked after young people and care leavers (LAYP/CL).

The resource will be of use to providers across the learning and skills sector including further education institutions’, work based learning providers, higher education institutions and youth, adult and community learning services – all of whom have a key role to play in enabling looked after LAYP/CL to achieve their potential. This resource closely follows the 4 key sections of the Buttle UK Quality Mark Framework, which are:

- Raising aspirations and pre-entry outreach
- Application, entry and induction
- On-going support
- Monitoring outcomes and impact

In this resource you will find examples of good practice and reflective questions to assess current performance, in each of these areas. This will enable individual providers to set their own SMART targets for the future development of their provision and support for LAYP/CL.

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A Vision for Looked After Children's Care in Wales 2016-2020

Authors: NSPCC; Action for Children; Barnardo's Cymru; The Fostering Network; Children in Wales; Voices from Care Cymru


In preparation for the National Assembly Election Campaigns, a working group of charities has been
established to promote the need for a new ‘Vision’ for looked after children and care leavers in Wales.

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Duties on Children's Services when children are in the care system

Author: Family Rights Group


If your child is being looked after in the care system, for whatever reason, there are certain things that Children’s services must do to make sure that your child is well cared for and that you (and other important family members) are consulted about key decisions concerning your child.
This advice sheet is written for parents/carers or anyone with parental responsibility for a child. It explains the legal duties on Children’s Services in England when children are in the care system. The law in Wales is similar to the law in England but there are some key differences so not everything in this advice sheet will apply if your child is looked after in the care system in Wales.

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The Impact of Attachment and Trauma on Learning

Author: Ann Bell, Adoption UK


A Powerpoint presentation by Ann Bell, Director of the Wales Adoption Support Partnership. The presentation covers the following topics:

• Pre conditions for learning

• Psychological and physiological impact of poor early attachment and trauma

• What works – 3 Rs

• The policy context in Wales


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Have you found one of the above resources particularly helpful or have an example of applying it in practice?  Perhaps you would just like to share your views?  Please use the box below to let us know!

If your comment is in reference to a specific resource, please ensure that you include its title.  All comments are pre-moderated before publication.

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