Foster Care Fortnight is an annual campaign organised by The Fostering Network, the UK’s leading fostering charity. It aims to raise the profile of fostering and highlight how foster care can positively transform lives.
This year, from 15th – 28th May 2023, their campaign focuses on the theme #FosteringCommunities celebrating all that the fostering community does to ensure children are cared for and supported to thrive. In addition to celebrating the incredible work of foster carers, Foster Care Fortnight provides an opportunity to share how we support foster carers to adopt reusable nappies and to raise awareness about the benefits of sustainable parenting practices within the wider community.
Fostering Communities and Changing Lives:
Foster Care Fortnight recognises and celebrates the incredible work done by foster carers across the country. It brings attention to the significant impact foster care has on vulnerable children and young people, providing them with a stable and nurturing environment when they need it most. By opening their hearts and homes, foster carers play a vital role in supporting the growth and development of these children, helping them overcome challenges and empowering them to reach their full potential.
The #FosteringCommunities theme emphasises the importance of building strong, supportive networks around foster families. It recognises the need for collaboration between foster carers, Local Authorities, and various community organisations to create an environment where foster children can thrive. Fostering communities means not only supporting the children but also offering guidance and resources to the foster carers themselves, ensuring they have the necessary tools and support networks to provide the best possible care.
Sustainability and Reusable Nappies:
Promoting sustainable practices is an important aspect of building resilient communities. In line with this principle, our voucher incentive scheme offers foster carers living in participating London boroughs the opportunity to embrace reusable nappies. Our initiative not only helps foster carers manage the costs associated with caring for a baby but also minimises the environmental impact associated with disposable nappies.
- Cost Savings: By using reusable nappies, foster carers can significantly reduce their ongoing expenses, particularly when caring for multiple children over an extended period. Our voucher scheme provides financial assistance reducing the upfront cost of purchasing reusable nappies, making them an accessible and affordable option for foster carers. The scheme can save households with a baby in nappies up to £324 per year. These savings can be doubled if the nappies are continued to be used on subsequent children.
- Environmental Impact: By using reusable nappies, foster carers can reduce their environmental footprint and reliance on single-use plastic. It is estimated that a child will go through approximately 4,000 to 6,000 disposable nappies before being toilet trained, contributing to household waste sent for incineration (energy-from-waste) or landfill. A recent study by Defra revealed that across their lifecycle, reusable nappies have a 25% lower carbon footprint than single-use disposable nappies – a figure that can be improved even further depending on how the nappies are washed and dried, and the use of renewable electricity.
- Better for Baby: Reusable nappies are often made of natural and breathable materials. They are free from the chemicals found in some disposable nappies.
- Convenience and Performance: Modern reusable nappies have evolved to be user-friendly and efficient. With adjustable sizes, secure fastenings, and natural absorbent materials, they offer the same level of convenience and leak protection as their disposable counterparts, making the transition hassle-free for foster carers.
- Improved Potty Training: Children who use reusable nappies often have an easier transition to potty training as they become more aware of their bodily functions leading to quicker learning.
Real Nappies for London Voucher Incentive Scheme:
Foster carers living in the London Boroughs of Barnet, Bexley, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington, Waltham Forest, and the City of Westminster, who are caring for a baby under the age of 18 months or are soon-to-be caring for one, can apply for a reusable nappy voucher worth up to £70. The voucher can be used towards the upfront cost of purchasing reusable nappies or contribute to a trial nappy laundry service. Our scheme aims to make the transition to reusable nappies more accessible and affordable for foster carers and to foster a sense of community. By participating in the scheme, foster carers become part of a larger network of individuals and families interested in sustainable living. This engagement provides an opportunity for carers to share experiences, seek advice, and build connections with like-minded individuals, further strengthening the sense of community and support.
Foster Care Fortnight reminds us of the vital role each of us can play in creating a positive change in the lives of foster children and building stronger communities. By embracing the #FosteringCommunities theme, we recognise the importance of fostering supportive networks around foster families, ensuring they have the resources and assistance needed to provide a nurturing environment for those that they care for.
To check eligibility and apply for a reusable nappy voucher worth up to £70, visit our apply page. Our voucher scheme is administered by the Wen (Women’s Environmental Network) and funded by the London Boroughs of Barnet, Bexley, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington, Waltham Forest and the City of Westminster, as well as the North London Waste Authority.
To learn about reusable nappies – what they are and how to use, wash and dry them – read our getting started guide.
Contact: 020 3150 2023 or firstname.lastname@example.org
#RealNappiesForLondon #NappyVoucher #FosteringCommunities #FCF23
Alice Walker, May 2023