Around 150 foster carers and fostering professionals came together to share best practice and help further improve fostering services for Wolverhampton’s looked after children.

The annual Foster Carer Conference, at the Ramada Park Hall Hotel, brought together carers and professional to specifically focus on working with adolescents and working with children from a diverse background.

Guest speaker Lemn Sissay MBE received a standing ovation after opening the conference with a thought-provoking motivational speech about his own journey through the care system. Other speakers included Leon Reid, the Commonwealth 2018 200m bronze medallist and care leaver, and Gareth Rafferty, Wolverhampton care leaver.

Professionals also took part in workshops and listened to a series of other keynote speaker on teenager resilience, emotional coaching, moral development and working with teenage asylum seekers.

Councillor Paul Sweet, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: "We are constantly looking at ways in which we can improve fostering services and outcomes for our looked after children and young people.

"This important event was a brilliant opportunity to have foster carers, social workers and other professional 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 an opportunity to reflect and build on the skills that our carers have in safeguarding young people and providing them with a safe and loving family, the conference was a chance for us to say a massive thank to our many foster carers who do a challenging job, day in, day out, to give children and young people the best possible start in life.”