Meet Britain's first fostering ambassador

A Swiss-role model?

You might think the talented chef Lorraine Pascale would be too busy creating tasty Christmas treats to take on anything else, but the TV presenter and author has just been named as the Government's first fostering ambassador.

Why did she get involved?

Pascale, who was fostered as a toddler, has spoken about her childhood on a number of occasions, as well as campaigning for foster children and their families to be given more support.

In this year's BBC documentary Fostering and Me with Lorraine Pascale, she tracked down the people who had fostered her throughout the 1970s - one of whom felt so under pressure that she had considered pushing the young Pascale under a passing lorry.

"It's a cause that's extremely close to my heart and I know from personal experience how critical and important this work is," she said.

What does her role involve?

According to the Department for Education, Pascale will be using her own experiences to "champion fostering" and encourage more people to think about becoming a foster carer.

Ministers have already announced a series of reforms including changing rules to allow children to stay with their foster families until they are 21, giving foster carers powers to make day-to-day decisions about children in their care, such as haircuts and school trips, and making the fostering process clearer and quicker.

"I very much look forward to getting started in the new year," Pascale said.

Speaking of New Year

If you don't already own the chef's latest book, Lorraine Pascale - How To Be A Better Cook, her website includes some handy tips on how to create "simple but impressive" New Year's Eve dinner-party dishes. Party hats off to the chef!

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