IFCO Webinars 2020


Click on each tab for more details and how to register. This includes topics, presenters, biographies, dates and times.

All the webinars in these tabs are open to IFCO members and the public.

On Thursday, July 2nd at 2pm (London, UK time), IFCO will be hosting an online webinar with an expert panel discussing “Life Story Work in the time of Covid-19”.

The three panel speakers are:

  • (IFCO Host) Jo Derrick, Chief Executive Officer for a National Throughcare and Aftercare charity and Vice-President of IFCO (Scotland, UK);
  • Bep van Sloten, Social Worker and International Consultant with a specialisation on foster care (Netherlands);
  • Catherine Paynter, Assessment Co-ordinator, Key Assets Ontario (Canada).

[Registration has now closed. Thank you to the presenters and the participants for their time and participation. We will soon be uploading the recording of the session.]

Biographies of speakers:
Jo Derrick

 Jo has extensive experience in the fostering and children’s services sector, including 10 years as a foster carer. In her leadership roles in fostering, Jo has embedded the organisational culture that has empowered adults to feel confident tackling this complex but valuable therapeutic work, supporting children to integrate their histories in a way that makes sense to them.

Bep van Sloten
Bep van Sloten is a social worker. She was a foster carer for 25 years, worked for the Dutch Association of Foster Families and as Executive Manager for IFCO. Since 2008, she works as an international consultant providing policy advice and training in many countries. Together with psychotherapists, she developed My Backpack that is implemented in different countries in Europe.
My Backpack is a programme designed to support professionals and foster carers in talking with young children (ages 4 to 12) about their placement in foster care. My Backpack is a set of interactive tools to help children make sense of what happened to them from the moment they were taken out of their home until they were placed into foster care.
In the support and counselling of children in foster care, it is often noticed that social workers focus mostly on the current situation, but give little attention to the past. Social workers may assume that children were informed on the why and how of their removal from their biological family, and may also think that it is better not to touch too much on previous –potentially- traumatic experiences.
In the scope of Covid-19 the method of speaking behind it can also help social workers and foster carers to speak with children about how they experience life now.

Catherine Paynter
My name is Catherine Paynter. I have been with Key Assets Ontario for the past 5 years as the assessment coordinator.  My role at the agency is to see interested applicants through the assessment process, and provide pre-service training for those interested in fostering. Prior to taking on the role of assessment coordinator I was a contract assessor, writing assessments for individuals who are interested in fostering with Key Assets.  I spent 20 plus years working in child welfare, from front line protection worker, to foster care and adoption worker.  I spent a few years in my early twenties working with young offenders, while I earned my Bachelors in Social work.  My educational background includes an undergrad in Psychology and Social work, as well as a Youth Worker Diploma.  My passion has always been working with children and families involved in the foster care system, and in fact, was a foster parent for over 5 years.  I have three daughters, my youngest who is adopted. Children who become part of the care system are vulnerable, and valuable, it has always been my desire to support these children or those who care for them.
As an adoption worker, often I did life story work with children moving onto adoption.  I have provided training to foster carers in my current role to ensure they understand what life story work is and, more importantly how they can support this work through life books. 

A second July webinar will be arranged later this month and announced soon. 

If there is a topic that you would like to submit, please use the ‘Contact Us’ form on the IFCO website, email ifco@ ifco.info or you can contact us via social media.

The tentative topic is Out of Home Care Standards with presenters from both Malta and Scotland.

This webinar is scheduled for 2pm (London, UK time).

Please return to this tab for registration and more details closer to the date. We will also be announcing the webinar in our Members Newsletter and on our Social Media. 
You can also submit questions  before the event by emailing ifco@ifco.info.

This webinar will be available to members and the public.

IFCO will be launching the webinar series for September in July! We are very excited to be working with partners to deliver some diverse and quality webinars and discussions for 2020 and 2021.

Watch this space!

IFCO Members Content


Click on each tab for more details. This includes topics, facilitator details, dates, and times.
Registration information will be sent to your (or your organisation’s) email address linked to your IFCO membership.

IFCO is committed to providing support and opportunities to our members to meet, network, and exchange. Learning from our 40 years of conferences and activity, and using technology platforms, we have created discussion groups for various member groups to meet every 6-8 weeks (except for a break in August) in 2020. We will continue this into the future too! We welcome your feedback and hope you will participate. 

Click on each tab for more information including dates, times, how to register, and more.

To become a member and be able to register to join these groups, click this link.


The Youth group meetings are closed meetings with young people who are already members. It is hosted by Billie-Jo (IFCO Board member, youth member, and care leaver) and Jo (IFCO Vice-President and works for a care leaver organisation). The purpose is to create a space to ask youth what they want from IFCO membership and co-create that space and activities together. We know the IFCO Youth conferences are something that young people enjoy and benefit from but we want to build on that with them.

First meeting!
Tuesday: July 7th, 4.30pm (London, UK time) via Zoom. All current registered IFCO Youth members were emailed directly with an invitation to join this online discussion. It would be a get to know you session as well as discussion what IFCO is planning as well as what the youth members might like to plan. The young people can then decide what the purpose of future events or meetings would be.

Further dates:
Tuesday, September 1st

Tuesday, November 3rd

Tuesday, December 15th

Please note, we will not be offering online open registration for these meetings. Invitation and registration links will be sent directly to youth member registered email addresses.

The focus of these groups will be to provide an international perspective on foster care and essentially a peer network with speakers invited on particular topics. Again this in the early stages of development so the participants can influence the direction to their benefit. Jo (IFCO Vice-President, former foster carer, CEO for a care leaver organisation) and Stacy (IFCO board member, foster carer, and academic) will lead on these groups initially. 

First meeting!
Friday, July 31st, Time to be confirmed. 

Further dates:
Friday, October 2nd

Friday, December 4th

Please note, we will not be offering online open registration for these meetings. Invitation and registration links will be sent directly to organisation and individual adult member registered email addresses.

This discussion group is aimed at front line workers in the child protection and foster care area who would like to talk and share with others from across the globe. Stacy (IFCO Board member, foster parent, and academic) and John (IFCO Board member and social worker) will be chairing these on behalf of IFCO. The first discussion group theme will be on ‘Family Contact’ with further additional content agreed by the group.

First meeting!
Friday, September 18th, Time to be confirmed. 

Further dates:
Friday, October 16th (to be confirmed)

Friday, November 13th

Please note, we will not be offering online open registration for these meetings. Invitation and registration links will be sent directly to organisation and individual adult member registered email addresses.