Council announces fast track for new foster carers
The county council is launching a new eight-week, fast track fostering assessment for people who have experience caring for children and are interested in becoming foster carers.
The council is offering the fast track assessment in response to the increase in the number of children coming into care in Gloucestershire and the sharp decline in the number of people applying to become foster carers since the easing of COVID-19 restrictions. This is a picture that is being seen across the country and is something the local service is keen to address.
There are currently 840 children in care in Gloucestershire and it is becoming increasing more challenging to find suitable foster families. As a result there are concerns that some children may have to wait longer for the right foster home.
David (not his real name) is 13 years old and would very much like to live with a foster family on a long-term basis. He is currently in a residential children’s home but could move to a local foster family if suitable foster carers can be found for him.
David said, “I want to be in a foster family with other children. I love swimming, being outdoors and I am keen to try any sport or social activity. I like football and am very good at it.”
David’s social worker said, “David is very friendly and likes to please people. He is extremely helpful and considerate of others’ feelings. He needs someone who is able to look after him, help him to manage his feelings and understand the experiences he has had and how these affect him. David needs a home where he can belong, with people who won’t give up on him.”
The county council has reduced the time it takes to complete the key part of the fostering assessment down to eight weeks for people with experience in caring for children and who are able to provide care for the children who are most in need of a foster family. This includes older children, teenagers and brothers and sisters who need to stay together.
Councillor Stephen Davies, cabinet member for children’s safeguarding and early years at Gloucestershire County Council said: “We want to make sure that children who come into our care are placed with the right family straight away. This means we need more local people to come forward to become a foster carer.
"Our fast track assessment process means prospective foster carers can be approved more quickly, while maintaining the same rigorous checks and high standards that are needed. If you’ve ever considered fostering please get in touch with our Fostering Service Recruitment Team. You could be making a difference to a child like David within weeks.”
To find out more about fostering for Gloucestershire County Council please visit www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/fostering or call 01242 532654 – we have dedicated staff who are ready to take you call and answer any queries you may have.