At least 40 new foster families are needed across Essex in 2016 to provide stable and loving homes to children and young people according to figures provided today by Essex County council.
With a number of foster families retiring from service every year there is a need to replace these carers as well as to recruit for new specialist schemes for children with specific needs. 50% of the young people coming into care in Essex are aged 14 and above and therefore the County Council particularly needs to recruit for foster carers who can provide homes for teenagers. Providing safe and secure homes for children with disabilities as well as large sibling groups also remains a priority for 2016.
The Council is recruiting carers for its new Therapeutic Fostering Scheme aimed at children who have experienced significant trauma or neglect. Foster carers on this scheme will receive considerable support to help these young people to achieve their potential.
Carers are also needed to provide Short Breaks to children with disabilities so that families can benefit from some respite while their child enjoys fun activities outside of the home. The County Council is particularly seeking carers with experience of disabilities for this fulfilling role. There are number of schemes offered ranging from one weekend a month through to a full-time fee paid short break scheme.
Foster carers come from all walks of life but will need the space in their home and right personal qualities to care for these groups of children. In return the County Council offers full training, local support and advice and a competitive financial package.
Councillor Dick Madden, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children said:
“We know that people often think about fostering for a long time before getting in touch, so why not use the start of the New Year to finally make that telephone call or attend an information event and find out more about fostering? We particularly would like to hear from people who are able to consider teenagers, children with disabilities or large sibling groups.”
To find out more about fostering visit www.essex.gov.uk/fostering or call 0800 801 530