IFCO conferences are central to the promotion of IFCO’s aims and objectives. These regular international gatherings:

    • promote examples of best practice in foster and kinship care
    • support foster and kinship carers
    • give a voice to young people
    • provide professionals, administrators and academic experts the opportunity to hear at first-hand about experiences of foster and kinship care from a range of perspectives

IFCO emerged from the first international foster care conference held in Oxford, UK, in 1979. This conference was organised by the National Foster Care Association, UK, to discuss a response to the United Nations’ International Year of the Child. Two years later in 1981 at a conference in the Netherlands, IFCO was formally established and subsequently incorporated as a charity in the UK.


Since then IFCO has hosted international and regional conferences in many countries across the world. In 2019 IFCO is also hosting a seminar for the first time. These events provide an arena where IFCO members, children and young people, kinship carers and foster carers, parents whose children are in foster care, foster care professionals, academics, policy makers and others can meet together.

The conferences and seminars provide the opportunity to build connections, share experiences, learn about research and good practice, plan campaigns and policy and support each other.

You can view the list of IFCO’s previous conferences here.