Our Vision

The Independent Foster Carers Alliance is the first truly independent non profit and social enterprise organisation for foster carers, offering support, protection, education and training.

It is run by professionals who have extensive first hand knowledge of being foster carers, unique support in this industry. We are paid for by our membership and not by Local Authorities or Agencies. None of our Directors own other companies or have any conflict of interests in the fostering industry.

We can therefore provide the first independent casework legal team and where necessary provide Alliance Support Workers to represent you, people who undertake this job role will be hand picked and by us to truly serve, represent and work with our members to deliver the right outcome and make sure everyone is accountable in allegations, concerns and complaints. Our Alliance Support Workers will be trained by us, have extensive first hand knowledge of foster care and are not social workers. Whilst we appreciate the work social workers do we do not feel they are best placed to provide independent support and protection for foster carers in allegations, concerns and complaints. Our caseworkers and Alliance Support Workers (ASW’s) will receive regular work and therapeutic supervision to ensure a high quality, robust and independent support for our members.

We are behind the bigger and longer term goals of an Independent Central licensing body and employment rights for foster carers, but will be also concentrating on lobbying and campaigning in Parliament for shorter more attainable goals such as duty of care, support and acknowledgement for foster carer’s mental health, correct information at point of placement, adequate holiday/respite entitlement and an overhaul of the allegations system.

Our education and training will concentrate on delivering quality standardised foster carer education to foster carers and the industry. We are currently working in partnership with university academics and colleagues to deliver new opportunities to existing foster carers and those entering the fostering workforce.

We will also be engaging in research to provide some much needed independent data to underpin our work bringing the foster carer workforce into the 21st century.

The Alliance Training Sessions will be designed to educate, empower and protect foster carers in their everyday working lives.

The first of these ‘Allegations: From the foster carers perspective’ will be rolled out very soon.

Your Team
Sarah Anderson
Director
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
Director
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.