Head, Heart, Hands is exploring the introduction of Social Pedagogy into UK foster care. The programme has provided courses in Social Pedagogy, Social Pedagogues employed in fostering services or virtual schools and implementation support.
The Head, Heart, Hands programme is led by the Fostering Network. Jacaranda Development and Jacaranda Recruitment are one of the delivery partners in the programme.
Work started in 2012, with the aim of improving experience and outcomes for children and young people.
Loughborough University lead the evaluation consortium. A briefing paper summarises a range of findings at the halfway point.
280 participants have undergone training. One foster carer has said,
“Head, Heart, Hands has already changed my mindset. It has given me new skills and provided a stronger theoretical basis to support what I do and say. I feel more confident in my ability to foster and to be a voice for the child.”
It is too early for hard evidence on long-term outcomes, but there is emerging evidence that Social Pedagogy is making a positive difference to children’s lives.
Confidence amongst foster carers is reported to have increased and relationships between carers and children, and carers and staff are improved.
It is hoped these emergent findings pave the way for news of increased stability, which is likely to result in cost avoidance for fostering services.
The Head, Heart, Hands evaluation will report on costs of the programme, outcomes for children and young people and possible costs avoided associated with any positive outcomes.
Read the paper which explores the potential costs avoided here.