Our Vision

The Independent Foster Carers Alliance is the first truly independent non profit social enterprise organisation for foster carers. Our vision was to support you in allegations, provide training courses from the foster carers perspective, advice, tools, tips, regional hubs, virtual support meetings, focus groups, allegations support meetings, connection, friendship, shared experiences and more, and we are delivering on that promise.

Our co-founders are professionals who have extensive first hand knowledge as they too are foster carers, this is truly unique in this industry and facilitates a meaningful vision for an independent organisation for foster carers. The Alliance is funded by our membership and not by Local Authorities or Agencies, we therefore have no conflict of interest and can act on behalf of our members whilst working closely and effectively with their fostering providers.

We have a tried, tested and respected independent legal casework team and Alliance Support Workers to support you. Each ASW is also an experienced foster carer and has been carefully selected for their professional approach and effective work with their own local authorities and agencies. The ASW’s are qualified in safeguarding, GDPR, policies and procedures, National Minimum Standards, legislation and bound by a strict code of conduct. ASWs have enhanced DBS clearance and are insured.

Whilst we are behind longer term goals of a Governing Body for foster carers we appreciated these things take years, and here at the Alliance what matters to us is your fostering in the here and now. We are working closely with all concerned, right up to governmental level, to deliver a fairer more secure and respected backdrop to being a foster carer. We want to deliver change now, to improve the fostering landscape for our children and young people and those who look after them.

We believe in training courses being free to our members. Courses are designed to fit within National Minimum Fostering Standards and incorporate current practice and legislation. Developed by experts they are designed to improve the foster carer’s experience and engagement of remote learning. Professional in delivery and content but accessible and engaging. They are followed by online seminars with other members and experts to share, learn, consolidate and discuss. Importantly we believe that courses for foster carers should be developed from the foster carers perspective and are based on an ethos of education, empowerment, safeguarding and working together.

We are also conducting our own independent surveys to provide much needed independent data, the first on the COVID19 response and support has now been published, hundreds of foster carers around took part from around the UK.

At the heart of the Alliance vision is a culture of integrity, learning, curiosity and working together to deliver the recruitment that is so needed, retention that is so valued and to facilitate improved relationships between foster carers and services. We want to drive up standards, promote carers feeling valued, secure and working cohesively together as part of the team around the child.

Your Team
Sarah Anderson
Having worked as a qualified counselling psychotherapist within the NHS mental health service, Sarah has been an effective Foster Carer specialising in adolescence for over a decade. Her work with young people has been valued by her local authority due to the exceptional work and outcomes she has experienced, particularly in the areas of education, mental health, and moving on. 

Despite her success, Sarah was deeply affected by the lack of rights and respect given to herself and her fellow Foster Cares. Sarah was dismissed, patronised and ignored, finding the position to be an extremely precarious and vulnerable working environment. 

Through these experiences and working alongside thousands of carers, Sarah saw the need for an independent professional platform for carers, a non profit organisation with no conflict of interests, no agendas, no political motivations or contracting to authorities or agencies.

Sarah has spoken in Parliament, written and featured in articles for the Guardian, as well as appearing on the Today programme, the BBC news, Newsnight, Victoria Derbyshire, Jeremy Vine show, Channel 4, Channel 5 and numerous regional radio TV programmes.
Jane Collins
Jane has an exciting and varied professional profile. She studied law after returning from living in Spain for four years from the age of 20.  She worked in commercial law for one of the largest firm of solicitors in the UK until the premature birth of her son, who suffered from brain damage due to his early arrival. Jane then retrained as a primary school teacher, undertaking a second degree (Bachelor of Education). Jane specialises in fostering children with additional needs.

Jane began assisting her fellow foster carers through the allegations process in 2016 and quickly realised that the system needed a major overhaul. Jane has successfully saved many fostering careers around the UK and she has developed a highly effective formula based on fairness, honesty and integrity where accountability is correctly apportioned and external professional bodies notified as necessary. Jane has appeared in local and national media and given several hard hitting speeches in Parliament.