Empowering Futures: The Nexus Fostering Approach to Inclusive Care

Nexus Fostering, a cornerstone in England’s foster care landscape since 2002, has been pivotal in enriching the lives of children and young people in need. With a steadfast commitment to excellence, evidenced by its continuous ‘Outstanding’ rating from Ofsted since 2011, Nexus Fostering exemplifies what it means to not only provide a home but to foster potential.


In a detailed conversation with Hayley Attew, Marketing Manager at Nexus Fostering, we explore the organisation’s critical role within the foster care community, underscore the urgent call for more foster carers—especially those from black and minority ethnic backgrounds—and share stories of individuals who have embraced the call to make a lasting impact. Hayley sheds light on the complexities and rewarding aspects of fostering, revealing how Nexus Fostering equips its carers and the children in their care with the support needed to thrive in a secure, loving, and culturally mindful setting.

Can you tell us a bit about Nexus Fostering and the work you do in the foster care community?

Nexus Fostering have been making a positive difference in the lives of children and young people in care throughout England since 2002 and remain social worker-led. Rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted continuously since 2011, we train and give people the skills to become foster carers to be able to help and support vulnerable children that cannot live with their birth families.

What inspired you to get involved in foster care advocacy and support?

My friend worked for Nexus Fostering and we regularly spoke about the number of children coming into care rising. When I was offered a job, I felt like this was my opportunity to help vulnerable children and find them safe homes.  Foster carers do such an amazing job, they are very inspirational.  Every child deserves to live in a safe family setting, and I want to do as much as I can to support them.

Can you share some statistics or data that highlight the current shortage of foster carers?

The statistics below provide a picture of the care system on just one day of the year. Around 30,000 more children come into care and leave care over the course of 12 months-

  •  57,540 children were living with foster families on 31 March 2022.
  • This is 70 per cent of the 82,170 children in care looked after away from home.
  • There are around 43,905 foster families in England.

Children of White ethnicity account for 71% of Children Looked After, 10% were Mixed or Multiple ethnic groups, 7% Black, African, Caribbean or Black British, 5% were Asian or Asian British, 5% other ethnicities.

What are the unique benefits that black foster carers can bring to the children they care for, particularly those from similar cultural backgrounds?

Every year, thousands of new foster carers are needed to care for the increasing number of vulnerable children coming into care in the UK from all cultures. At Nexus Fostering, we understand the importance of ensuring every child has an opportunity to learn about their culture and heritage and be proud of their identity, regardless of their background. It is therefore important they are matched with the right family to support their cultural needs. This might include honouring religious festivals or traditions, helping with their hair care, the clothes they like to wear, any dietary requirements and joining social groups to give them a wider sense of identity and community.

What initiatives or programmes does Nexus Fostering have in place to recruit and support black foster carers?

We partner with brilliant organisations like BHM to increase the awareness of fostering within diverse communities. We have also featured on Gloucester FM – a community radio station for the BAME community, and often attend Gurdwaras events in Slough.  We hold support groups for our carers and hold many family events meaning our carers can get together, chat and support each other.

How can individuals who are interested in becoming black foster carers get involved and start the process?

It starts with an informal chat with our fostering advisor followed by a visit to your home. Once we all agree fostering is right for you, the assessment starts which includes completing an application form and gathering background checks. You will also join other future carers for a training course to equip you with invaluable skills and knowledge to support you throughout your fostering journey. To find out more information visit www.nexusfostering.co.uk/bhm

What kind of training and support does Nexus Fostering offer to prospective foster carers, regardless of their background?

The comprehensive training and support we provide are second to none. We will invite you to our ‘Skills to Foster’ training course which provides an overview of fostering and will help you understand the role of foster carers and the needs of children and young people looked-after. You’ll also benefit from further training and regular workshops to keep your knowledge up to date throughout your career as a foster carer. Nexus’ foster carers are members of a professional team designed to offer the very best support and outcomes for every child in their care. With access to social workers, family support workers, clinicians, and specialists the wraparound support for foster carers and those they care for is there 24/7, 365 days a year. In addition, carers can join monthly support groups with other foster carers and attend regular family social events. No Nexus foster carer is on their own.

Can you share a success story or a positive experience involving a black foster carer and a child they’ve cared for?

Sharon has been fostering for 15 years. She loves working with children and wanted to give them a home where they felt loved, safe and cared for. She is currently fostering a 12 year old boy with Downs Syndrome. When he arrived at Sharon’s aged 10, he was still wearing nappies and had limited speech. With Sharon’s support along with his health professionals, teachers at his special needs school and social workers, he is now out of nappies and his appearance, social skills and speech progression have improved greatly. Sharon says ‘It hasn’t always been easy but it is worthwhile to know what he has achieved and gives me hope that he can have a better future.  With a lot of patience, understanding, perseverance and love he should be able to achieve much more. He is a pleasure to care for and makes my role as a foster carer very rewarding.’ Read more of Sharon’s story here Time flies – 15 years of fostering | Nexus Fostering

How can the community and organisations like Nexus Fostering work together to raise awareness about the need for more black foster carers?

We are always looking for opportunities to talk to organisations about fostering, whether that’s presenting to your business about what fostering is and how they can become a fostering friendly business or sharing our information on local community social media channels. If anyone reading this can provide us with an opportunity to speak with members of your community, please get in touch.

What advice would you give to someone considering becoming a foster carer, particularly if they are from a black or minority background?

It’s a huge decision and we know you will have lots of questions to ask about becoming a foster carer and that’s great. Do lots of research and remember we are here to answer your questions too. Remember there is no silly question! It all starts with a simple call to our team to find out whether fostering is right for you now or in the future. We are here for you every step of the way.

Are there any upcoming events or campaigns related to fostering that you’d like to share with our audience?

There are many types of fostering and we are particularly looking for parent and child foster carers, carers who can support children on our therapeutic packages, and carers who can foster teenagers. Find out more about these services here Types of Fostering | Nexus Fostering.

Finally, where can people find more information about Nexus Fostering and get involved in your efforts to address the need for more black foster carers?

Give our friendly fostering advisors a call on 0800 389 0143. They will answer any questions you have or visit www.nexusfotering.co.uk/bhm where you can read some of our foster carers real life stories and book in a call with the team at a time that suits you.