Fostering recruitment is improving but more needs to be done
THE 2016-17 Foster Carers Annual Report was heard at Corporate Parenting committee last week (Wednesday 6 December) which explained how lots of good work is taking place, but that there is still a shortage of local foster carers.
The committee heard how ten new carers were approved between April and March in 16/17 and four carers resigned or retired. The committee also heard strategies introduced to retain existing foster carers. The committee was particularly pleased to hear that there are more children (130) placed with Thurrock In-house carers compared to last year, 2015/16, where 86 children were living with our in-house carers. However, the committee recognises that more needs to be done.
Vice Chair of the Committee, Cllr Bukky Okunade spoke after the meeting and said: “We have long recognised the ongoing need to recruit and retain foster carers in Thurrock. Our foster carers have access to a larger support network, including support from other local carers and ongoing training and development.
“Recruiting foster carers is a national challenge, and I’m pleased that Thurrock is incorporating recommendations from a recent review and has a creative action plan, including using projects like the popular ‘Give a Gift’ project to talk to people looking to become a Thurrock foster carer.
“Fostering can be short or long term, and all you need to be considered is a safe home, a spare bedroom and time to care for a child and if you have ever considered it, I’d encourage you to come along to one of our informal drop in sessions which is listed on our website.
“I’d like to applaud the work and efforts of the team, there is much to do but the committee is confident that the council is doing everything possible to give our local children safe and loving homes.”
To find out more about fostering, visit: thurrock.gov.uk/fostering