John Fallowfield wants to tackle the national shortage of foster parents with his newly established company, Fostering Guide.
The UK Government spent £1.7 billion funding fostering agencies in 2018 to recruit, train and support families but demand for high-quality foster parents continues to outstrip supply. Current figures show that only 5,000 foster families will be recruited this year against an annual requirement for 8,000.
An online service, Fostering Guide will help by increasing the supply of foster parents by qualifying and matching them to their best-fit fostering agency; as John explains: “Across the UK, there are over 500 fostering agencies (run by councils, private providers and charities) and they are competing online against one another to secure foster parents. For would-be foster families, determining which agency to go to is both time consuming and confusing. As a result, many children’s needs are not being met.”
Much needed to solve an ongoing social care crisis, Fostering Guide is in the process of customer validation and testing and is hoping to secure its first customers shortly.
John continued: “Joining the Catalyst programme made me proud of my achievements to date and excited to get started. Getting known and then being trusted will take time so the cost of marketing and advertising to get us to that point is a key challenge to overcome.”