Guidelines for contributions from foster carers and adopters

(v.3 June 2013)

Thank you for considering making a contribution to helping foster carers and adopters and their children.


  • The focus of your contribution should be on the emotional well-being, mental health or behavioural difficulties of looked after and/or adopted children.
  • Foster carers who write about a child in their care rather than their own experience should seek consent from the person with parental responsibility for the child. We also encourage you to speak with your supervising social worker prior to submitting an article for publication.
  • Honesty is key and the hope is that other parents and carers will find comfort, inspiration and/or recognition in the contributions.
  • Your contribution should not include any names. Please do not change any other details. PAFCA will ensure that ages, dates, places etc. are changed to ensure the anonymity of everyone other than the author prior to publication on the website (if you change such details we may inadvertently make it more similar to the truth when we anonymise your account).
  • It should not include any comments that may be libellous.
  • Your contribution should be between 1000 and 2000 words
  • Please do include a “Top Five Tips” section. We intend to only use contributions that include this format at the end in order to ensure that we maintain a practical focus.

Confidentiality measures:

  • You do not need to mention any child specifically. If you would prefer, you can talk generally about your experiences of emotional problems that you have encountered in children you have cared for.

e.g. “lots of the children I’ve looked after have been very angry. I first noticed the anger when…, I have found over time that … has worked with the anger and… has not been quite so helpful”


“I personally have really struggled with saying goodbye… this has come up when… and I have found that… has helped me”

  • Often however it is helpful to speak about a particular child. In such cases please do not include your child’s name. In addition PAFCA will change:
    • The age of the child
    • Possibly the sex of the child
    • Any reference to recognisable location, people, personal characteristics, legal status of the child
    • In short, we will retain the nature of the problem but the child will not be identifiable.

Suggested topic areas:

The following are suggested questions that you may like to answer in your contribution however feel free to tailor the content as you see fit.

  • Pick a particular emotional/psychological/mental health problem that you have encountered and write about your experiences of that problem e.g. rage, self-harm, competitiveness, sleep etc.
    • What life experiences do you think contributed to your child/children developing this problem?
    • How did the problem make you feel?
    • What things have you tried over time to solve or work with that problem?
    • How did you come up with those strategies?
    • Did you get any support?
    • If so, what was your experience of that support?
    • Did the problem change over time?
    • What have you learnt from your experience of this particular problem?
    • Top five tips section (see below)
  • Your journey with a particular child through their emotional/psychological/ mental health problem. Whether it went well or badly.
    • How did you first recognise it?
    • How did you cope?
    • How did your child cope?
    • Did you get any support?
    • If so, what was your experience of that support?
    • How did your relationship with your child change on your journey together with this problem
    • Top five tips section (see below)
  • Or any other topic or perspective on the emotional/psychological/mental health of your child!

“Top Five Tips” section (essential)

This section should be included at the end of your contribution.

This is essentially a list of five things that you have learnt along the way about the particular emotional/psychological/mental health difficulty that you have written about. It should include advice or suggestions that you would like to pass on to other parent and carers that may help them deal with something similar. This could be the things you wish that you had known or perhaps techniques that worked for you.


We cannot guarantee to publish any articles but please feel free to contact us before you make a submission. This will give the best possible chance of ensuring that the article is published on the website.

WE are unable, at the current time, to offer any payment for articles written fro PAFCA.

PAFCA reserves the right to edit your submission, at our discretion, to ensure articles fit with the sites goals and format.

PAFCA retains all rights over any published articles regarding republishing. Articles should not have been published elsewhere.

Please send your submissions to

In your submission email please include the following information, which may accompany your article:

  • Your name
  • Your town/area
  • A photograph of you to accompany your article
  • Whether you are a Foster Carer/Adopter/Special Guardian/Kinship Carer

Please also include the following statement

“I confirm that I have read the PAFCA Guidelines for contributions from Foster Carers and Adopters (v.3 June 2013) and agree to the term and conditions contained therein”
Thank you for your time and we look forward to hearing from you!