Foster care's role

29th June 2007 at 01:00
In "Boost for children in care" (TES, June 22) you reported on the Care Matters white paper, including plans to provide pound;500 for each child's social worker to spend on support and after-school activities and the introduction of "virtual headteachers". But radically changing the prospects of looked-after children is as much about what happens at home as in the classroom, so we were also pleased to see proposals to improve the way foster carers are recruited, trained and supported.

We know parents play a key role in supporting their children's education, but research suggests too many foster carers are still unclear about their responsibilities and may lack the skills to do this well. The white paper cites work which the British Association for Adopting and Fostering is developing with the Maudsley hospital and the London borough of Southwark to pilot a new training programme for foster carers.

It will provide them with specific information about the education system and practical skills to work with schools and teachers, and for helping children with reading and homework. Children succeed best when their parents are their strongest advocates and we are pleased to see the Government's recognition of the importance of their role.

David Holmes

Chief executive,

British Association for Adopting and Fostering,

London

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