Caring for the fostering community: North Yorkshire Council’s Fostering conference returns


In April, we hosted a one-day event for the North Yorkshire Council at our Lakeside Conference Centre (LCC). The Fostering North Yorkshire (FNY) 2023 Conference is an annual conference which invites the North Yorkshire fostering community to catch up, network and, most importantly, for the council to thank its community of carers for their continued service.

We caught up with Alan Tucker, Fostering Manager at North Yorkshire Council, to find out more about the importance of this event to the fostering community and how York Biotech Campus (YBC) worked with the council to make this a day to remember.

What was the event all about?

“Our annual FNY event is an opportunity for us to thank the wonderful foster carers in our region and recognise their continued service. The theme for this year’s event was ‘foster carer wellbeing’ and we saw around 170 council staff, foster carers, foster children and birth children attend, as well as staff from key fostering agencies in the region.”

Why did you choose LCC for the event?

We’ve been using the LCC for the FNY conference for several years now and it’s become our venue of choice. It’s a great location, and the physical layout of the space meets all our requirements perfectly. The auditorium is great for our main speeches: this year we had two excellent keynote speakers, Kati Taunt, a licensed trauma therapist and Mark Willis from York Mind.

“The breakout rooms are also ideal. We can make use of the five separate rooms to offer entertainment to the children and young people in attendance. We’re also able to use the mezzanine, inviting our partners to set up information stalls for guests to browse. We’d like to offer a big thank you to everyone from The Fostering Network, FosterTalk, National Youth Advocacy Service and York University’s Outreach Service, who came along to network and provide free information to our attendees.”

How was the overall experience at LCC?

“It was brilliant as always! Annaleigh, the catering team, security and the creche couldn’t have been more supportive. We had a couple of IT issues as we were setting up, but the events staff were incredibly helpful and resolved things in a timely and professional manner.

“The catering team were also wonderful and provided us with a lovely spread of food for the adults and packed lunches for the children. We received really positive feedback from the attendees, but there’s nothing better than seeing the smiling faces of all the children having fun at the FNY conference each year.”

Were there any standout moments at this year’s event?

Every FNY event is special, but the standout moment this year had to be rewarding some of our longest serving foster carers. This year we awarded eighteen carers with badges, certificates, and vouchers to celebrate a combined total of 115 years’ service, with awards ranging from five to 30 years! We cannot thank our wonderful fostering community enough for their continued dedication, safeguarding and love to the children in their care.”

Looking for conference space, an exhibition venue or meeting room hire? Get in touch.