Walking Tall is a three-year project from the Fostering Network in Wales that began in 2020. It works with primary school children in foster care and was commissioned by the Welsh Government as part of the Fostering Communities programme.
Using interactive activities, the project encourages staff and facilitators to think through how they can adopt a more participative approach when working with children and highlights the importance of co-production – working side by side with children, to empower them to share their views and be heard.
Walking Tall recognises that everyone involved in fostering has a vital contribution to make, in order to improve the quality of life for children and young people in care and their foster families. In this way, the project will help towards ensuring that children are involved in designing and delivering projects that will meet their own needs.
The purpose of Stage One was to develop creative play-based sessions, to find out how children like to engage digitally, and to invite them to advise on materials and activities for working with children in later stages of the Walking Tall Project.
In Stage One, children engaged in a number of creative activities including ‘Rock Star’ where they painted stones to represent things in their lives that make them feel happy. Children then discussed the strengths and weaknesses of these different approaches. They were also asked to generate ideas about what other activities they would like to see and what they felt is the best way for children to share their perspectives, experiences, and ideas.
Although the views of children were centralised, foster carers also contributed their views and perspectives on the project. One foster carer commented that completing creative activities with children ‘Kind of brings everyone together. It was really lovely and enjoyable’.
You can find out more in the project report.
The Fostering Network in Wales
Boffey, M., Mannay, D, Vaughan, R. and Wooders, C. 2021. The Fostering Communities Programme – Walking Tall: Stage One Evaluation. Cardiff: The Fostering Network in Wales.