About IFCO 2017

“Setting Sail from a Safe Port: Giving our children confidence to move forward with safe and permanent relationships” · 1-4 November 2017 · Valletta · Malta
International Foster Care Organisation's 2017 World Conference will take place in Valletta, Malta from 1st to 4th November 2017. The theme of the conference “Setting Sail from a Safe Port: Giving our children confidence to move forward with safe and permanent relationships” is underpinned by a holistic understanding that every person has a role in protecting children and promoting their well-being. Professionals, carers, policy-makers and youth will all benefit from exploring the theme of this year's conference together and using the IFCO platform to share, exchange, and learn from each other. The aim of the conference is to offer a balanced and inspiring programme, focusing on best practice, informed policies, and children’s rights.
Conference subthemes include:
  1. Child protection systems and deinstitutionalisation (DI) Reform: overall care system reform and DI and family based care in different regions across the world
  2. Meeting the needs of children due to migration
  3. Formal and informal educational outcomes for children during care and for careleavers
  4. Foster carers and social workers: education, training, assessment, approval, supervision and retention
  5. Understanding trauma and its effect
  6. Prevention, intervention, early childhood and permanency
  7. Partnership, engagement and children & youth participation
  8. Measuring success: preventative services, suitable placements, successful transitions and aftercare and the impact and measurement of careleavers successes and attainments. 
For a full list of themes and topics, see the conference programme
The conference content will be a combination of interesting plenaries and interactive workshops, covering those diverse topics. We also envision a complimenting dynamic social programme and other networking opportunities. A unique aspect of IFCO is the equal platform provided to all stakeholders including foster parents, foster families, children in foster care, care leavers, birth families, social workers, professionals, academics, policy makers and all who are interested in quality alternative family-based care. Follow all the latest about the Conference and join the conversation on social media by posting and tweeting using the official conference hashtag #IFCO2017.  
If you have any questions regarding the registration and conference fee, require a letter of invitation or have a problem with payment, please contact Conference Registration Desk by email at conference[at]ifco.info or by phone +44 (0) 20 8144 7571.

Location & Venue

IFCO 2017 World Conference will be held from 1st to 4th November 2017 on the Island of Malta where beautiful heritage and landscapes meet modern sense of hospitality. 

The Opening & Closing Ceremonies, as well as the morning plenary conference sessions will take place at the Grand Master’s Palace which has been the administrative centre of Malta for almost three and a half centuries. The original palace, built in 1571, was the seat of the Grand Master of the Knights Hospitalliers of St John and later, during the British colonial period, served as the Governor’s palace. Today it is home to the House of Representatives of Malta and the office of the President of the Republic of Malta.

The afternoon parallel workshop sessions and the youth programme will be hosted in the University of Malta: https://www.um.edu.mt/conferenceunit/about/howtoreachus
Grandmaster's Palace, Republic Street, Valletta, Island of Malta VLT 1191, Malta


Key Assets The Children's Services Provider
Foster carer, social worker, social work lecturer
University of Malta
Foster parent, youth care consultant, former director of the Rotterdam foster care center
Knowledge Factory
Team Manager
Fostering Relations
Executive Director
Key Assets The Chhildren's Services Provider
trainer, psychotherapist, crisis interventionist
NGO Velky vuz Sever
Retired teacher. Adoptive mother
Assistant Professor
Washington State University
Head of EU Office at SOS Children's Villages international
SOS Children’s Villages International, Opening Doors for Europe’s Children Campaign
PhD Research
Adoption from Irish Foster Care, University College Dublin

Organisers & Partners

Conference Organisers:

The International Foster Care Organisation (IFCO) is an international network dedicated solely to the promotion and support of quality alternative family-based foster care across the world.  Through our global regional and national events, trainings, seminars and conferences we provide a multi-cultural platform where young people, foster carers, social workers, academics, researchers, volunteers, media, policy makers and others meet, collaborate and support each other on a global basis. Over its 30-year-long history,  IFCO has been a pioneer in advocating for the rights of children in need of care and protection to live in a family. Our role is to share global experience to achieve excellence in alternative care. For more information please visit www.ifco.info

National Foster Care Association Malta (NFCAM)  is about caring for children in care who are part and parcel of the local community and tomorrow’s generation. Our mission is to work with all those involved in fostering in order to achieve the best outcomes for children and young people. NFCAM strives to achieve better living conditions for children and youth in residential care, by working in close collaboration with local government agencies and individuals in the field of foster care. NFCAM also supports local foster carers encouraging them to share experiences and ideas for the full benefit of the children and youth in care. For more information please visit www.nfcam.org


Conference Partners:
The President's Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society (PFWS) is a non-profit entity founded by the President of Malta on initiatives to help improve social inclusion and standards of living. The Foundation recognises relationships as the fundamental structure for human wellbeing. It aims to explore the identification of wellbeing by creating a safe space for dialogue and participation, engaged with academic and popular wisdom. The Foundation seeks to foster a democratic participatory framework that is both inclusive and respectful, in its search for best practices leading to wellbeing. For more information please visit www.pfws.org.mt

Eurochild advocates for children’s rights and well-being to be at the heart of policymaking. We are a network of organisations working with and for children throughout Europe, striving for a society that respects the rights of children. We influence policies, build internal capacities, facilitate mutual learning and exchange practice and research. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is the foundation of all our work. For more information please visit www.eurochild.org

 FSWS logo without background Eng
The Foundation for Social Welfare Services - Aġenzija Appoġġ is the National Agency for children, families and the community that safeguards and promotes the well-being of these persons through the development and provision of psycho-social welfare services.. For more information please visit www.fsws.gov.mt


Advertise your organisation’s support of the IFCO 2017 World Conference and take advantage of this great opportunities. 

Our sponsorship packages have been designed to get your name and logo recognised by the conference participants, by prominently featuring your organisation on the website, in the conference materials and at the exhibition space in the centre of the conference venue.Become IFCO 2017 sponsor and secure the highest level of visibility within the international foster care community. Interested in sponsorship? Email us at conference[at]ifco.info for further details.  

Nearby Places To Stay

Grandmaster's Palace, Republic Street, Valletta, Island of Malta VLT 1191, Malta

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Conference App

Download IFCO 2017 Conference App

Download the all-new IFCO 2017 Conference app to browse conference programme and plan your personal schedule. Exchange ideas, receive updates, engage in discussions and expand your network. Get the conference app and make IFCO 2017 even more enjoyable and unique experience! 

Using the event app, attendees can:
  • Update profiles
  • Manage their personal schedules and check-in to sessions
  • Access full conference programme and get up-to-the-minute schedule change notifications during the conference
  • View attendees and speakers
  • Connect and set up 1-to-1 meetings with fellow attendees
  • Engage in discussions on the forum

The app is available for iOS and Android smartphones and devices.

To access the IFCO 2017 Conference app:

1. Please use the direct Download URLs to Google Play and App Stores or download Dryfta app below 

Download now on the App Store  

Get it now on Google Play

2. After installing the app, please search for IFCO 2017 World Conference in the event listing page using the search bar or scroll down and choose IFCO 2017 World Conference from the list of events on Dryfta App. 

3. Click on IFCO 2017 World Conference to save or download the conference. 

4. Tap "More" in the bottom right corner of the Home Screen.

5. Tap "Profile" in the top left corner and log in using credentials received at your email address during the registration process.

Be sure to create your profile to access the full power of the app. Logging in and completing a profile allows you to create a schedule for each day for an easy planning. It will also enable you to instantly communicate and connect with your new contacts with just a few taps! 

If you have an enquiry regarding your registration credentials that will allow you to log in and to update the profile, please do not hesitate to contact Conference Organising Committee via conference@ifco.info.