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South East councils join forces to recruit more foster carers

The country's largest local authority fostering partnership has been created to increase the number of foster carers across the region

Posted by: Communications team on 04 July 2024 10:29
Categories: July 2024
Foster Parent Image 1 SE Foster Hub Launch

Councils from across the South East have come together to create the country's largest local authority fostering partnership to increase the number of foster carers across the region.

West Berkshire Council is a proud partner of this national Department for Education (DfE) funded project, with Local Authority Fostering South East being the largest of nine regions taking part in this pilot programme. With over 11,000 children in care across the South-East, and fewer than 3,000 local authority approved foster carers, there's an urgent need to recruit more people to provide safe, loving, and local homes for vulnerable children.

Launching today (8 July), Local Authority Fostering South East is a new virtual fostering hub bringing together the expertise of 20 councils from across the region. The new hub will give prospective foster carers have access to a centralised platform for their initial enquiries about fostering and see local authorities work collaboratively to provide the best support, right from the start of a carer's fostering journey.

Prospective foster carers will also benefit from a new fostering ambassador scheme, enabling them to speak to an existing carer to find out what this life-changing role is really like. The new regional hub will be running marketing campaigns to raise awareness and encourage more people to take the next step to become a foster carer with their local council. In doing so, they will benefit from comprehensive local training, generous financial assistance and ongoing support from a non-profit organisation.

Natasha Sampson, South East regional Strategic Lead, said:

"This is a really exciting step forward for fostering. For the first time in the South East, we are leveraging the collective skills, knowledge, resources and support of 20 councils to ensure children and young people have the stable home in a loving family that they all deserve.

 "The new hub will make this possible by increasing the number of local foster carers and making sure they are well supported through their recruitment journey and beyond.

"I would urge anyone interested in fostering to get in touch with us to find out more about becoming a foster carer with your local authority."

Councillor Heather Codling, West Berkshire's Executive Member for Children, Education and Young People's Services said: 

"We are delighted to be a part of this important collaboration. Working together will make us even stronger and help us to recruit the much-needed foster carers to provide loving homes for our children.

"Protecting our vulnerable children and making sure they are placed with the right family to help them flourish is a key priority for us, we have many amazing foster carers already and I look forward to welcoming more foster carers who can help us to make this happen."

More information on becoming a foster carer can be found on the new regional website and by following Local Authority Fostering South-East on Facebook  Fostering South East  Instagram -LA_Fostering_SE and X (formerly Twitter)  @LA_Fostering_SE.

Anyone interested in fostering can also contact the regional hub directly to speak to a member of the recruitment team by calling 0300 131 2797. 

Last modified: 08 July 2024 15:33

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