Hackney's approach to fostering shapes national pilot project

A pioneering programme that aims to improve the lives of children in care in Hackney has helped to shape a national trial by charity Fostering Network.

As Foster Care Fortnight gets underway, so does the Head, Heart, Hands project, a four year pilot based on social pedagogy – a European approach which Hackney has been using for some years.

Social pedagogy focuses on supporting foster carers to help children in care build stable and positive relationships, which in turn helps them achieve better outcomes and improve their long term wellbeing. It is based on a blend of academic knowledge (head), an understanding of emotions (heart) and practical daily activities (hands), to help children in care thrive.

Cllr Rita Krishna, Cabinet Member for Education and Children's Services, Hackney Council
We have a network of dedicated foster carers who work tirelessly to look after some of our most vulnerable children. They are a vitally important part of the system so we always try to go the extra mile to support them and to help the young people in their care. Social pedagogy is a part of this commitment; it encourages everyone who has a relationship with a child, from their foster carer and social worker, to health workers and teachers, to work closely together to suit each child’s individual needs and understand how to help our children to feel safe, secure and confident. Like many areas throughout the country, Hackney always needs more people who can offer a stable, caring home to a child. I’d strongly urge anyone who thinks they’ve got what it takes to get in touch to find out more.
Cllr Rita Krishna, Cabinet Member for Education and Children's Services, Hackney Council

Hackney already employs a social worker trained in social pedagogy and, as one of six local authorities taking part in the Fostering Network’s project, they have been joined by another two members of staff.

To find out more about fostering call 08000 730 418 or http://www.hackney.gov.uk/fostering