Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Thurrock’s all out bid to attract more foster carers is paying dividends

THURROCK’S all out bid to attract more foster carers is paying dividends.

Following a concerted campaign 11 new foster carers are currently being assessed with a view to helping youngsters.

A marketing campaign launched across the borough saw adverts on council tax leaflets and banners at schools, churches and train stations as well as online adverts

A national campaign by the Fostering Network has also seen a video being played on a large screen at Lakeside in November.

A number of events have been held such as Parkruns and community days.

As a result the council received the highest number of applications in a 12 month period and if the 11 foster carers successfully complete their assessments, placements will be found for 16 children.

The council currently has 85 fostering households looking after 109 children. Where spaces aren’t available children have to be sent outside the borough at greater cost to the council and to the detriment of children separated from their wider families.

Foster carers are provided with financial support and those who foster for a minimum number of days per annum have their council tax waived.

A report to Thurrock’s corporate parenting committee by Dan Jones, service manager fostering, said: “Since the launch of the new brand the number of applications has been steadily increasing and there is recovery from 2019/2020 when Covid impacted significantly on the recruitment and marketing of foster carers.

“In November 2021 Ofsted released a report on the national picture for fostering. That report highlights the continued national shortage of foster placements and confirms the challenges Thurrock has faced are not unique to our local authority.”

Mr Jones added: “Thurrock Council continues to be in urgent need of increasing the foster carer community. The recent improvement in the number of new applications is very welcome, and we continue to create opportunities so a greater volume of applications are made to grow our overall number of foster carers.

The committee will meet on January 4 to hear the report.

For more information on fostering, visit Contact the Fostering Team on 0800 652 1256 or visit www.thurrock.gov.uk/fostering


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