More children and young people in foster care in Knowsley are being placed with carers working directly for the council, thanks to an increase in new foster carer registrations.
In fact, the number of places created by ‘in-house’ carers in Knowsley has increased by 20% over the past year, reducing the need for the council to use Independent Fostering Agencies. This is good news for the children, as it means they are less likely to be placed outside of the borough away from familiar places, friends and their schools, and better for the council, as in-house placements cost less than those commissioned through agencies.
And the council is still hoping that more would-be foster carers will come forward to help look after local children, becoming a valued member of a team of foster parents who make a real difference to the lives of those they look after.
The recruitment of foster carers allows Knowsley Children’s Social Care more choice and better matching when finding homes for children and young people. For the foster carers, helping the children in their care develop and thrive is incredibly rewarding.
Finding safe and loving homes for children is the council’s absolute priority
Colette Dutton, Executive Director for Children’s Services, said: “Knowsley’s Fostering Service works extremely hard throughout the year to find safe and loving homes for some of our borough’s most vulnerable children, and this remains an absolute priority for us as a local authority.”
“We are very pleased with the increase in our foster care placements since last year, but we are always working to improve this. It is essential that we maintain our commitment to providing local placements for our children so that they can maintain their relationships with their friends and families and remain at the same school.
“We have fantastic foster carers in Knowsley, but we still need more like them to come forward. There are so many caring people who would be great at fostering but don’t realise they are suitable.”
Watch Elliot’s story and see the difference Foster Carers make
As part of their latest recruitment drive, the council has launched a fostering film – Elliot’s Story’. The film uses actors to tell the real life experiences of a formerly looked after child and Knowsley’s Fostering Service has worked closely with young people to deliver this unique film to raise awareness about fostering and in particular the need to find foster carers for older children.
Do you think you might have the skills and experience to become a foster carer?
If you would like to find out more about fostering or if you are an existing Foster Carer who is thinking about transferring, please contact Knowsley’s Fostering Service on 0151 443 3959 or visit https://fostering.knowsley.gov.uk.