Foster parents and fostering professionals came together last week to share best practice and help further improve fostering services for Wolverhampton’s children and young people in care.

The annual Foster Parent Conference, Time After Time, was held at Molineux Stadium and brought together parents and professionals to specifically focus on developing therapeutic parenting skills and building resilience, particularly with teenagers. 

Time After Time was an opportunity to recognise the relentless work that foster parents do day in, day out and recognise, in doing so, how they transform the lives of some of Wolverhampton’s most vulnerable children and young people.

The conference was opened by Alison Hinds, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Deputy Director of Children’s Social Care. There were also 2 keynote speakers, internationally renowned psychotherapist and author of several therapeutic parenting books Sarah Dillon, who gave an emotional insight about trauma informed fostering, and Nick Barwick, Managing Director for Insight Wellbeing Services, who highlighted a very personal and somewhat emotional journey at times of his own experience of being brought up in the care system. Both speakers were met with a standing ovation.

The conference also heard from foster parents and a young person in care, along with health and education professionals.

Councillor Chris Burden, the council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education, also spoke at the conference. He said: “We are constantly looking at ways in which we can support our foster parents and further improve outcomes for our children and young people in care and this year’s conference has brought that message to the front of our minds.

"This important training event was a brilliant opportunity to have foster parents, social workers and other professionals in one place, learning together, sharing best practice and helping to develop new ways in which we can support children and young people in Wolverhampton.

“As well as giving an opportunity to reflect and build on the skills that our foster parents have in safeguarding young people and providing them with a safe and loving family, the conference was a chance for us to say a huge and heartfelt thank you to our many foster parents who do a challenging job, day in, day out, to give children and young people the best possible start in life.”

To find out more about Fostering for Wolverhampton, please visit Fostering for Wolverhampton, search for @FosteringForWolves on Facebook, or call 01902 551133.