The majority of children and young people in care in Wolverhampton are cared for by foster parents who foster for the City of Wolverhampton Council and live in the city.

That is one of the highlights of Fostering for Wolverhampton's annual report, which reveals that, as of March 2023, there were 218 households Fostering for Wolverhampton who, between them, are providing a loving home for 274 children and young people in care, compared to 104 children who live with foster parents who are employed by external agencies.

The timeliness of assessments has improved, while new 'matching events' have been launched which bring foster parents who are not currently caring for a young person together with social workers who are looking for a match for a child.

There is a strong focus on stability, building family relationships and reducing home moves where possible to improve outcomes for children and, during 2022 to 2023, more than 50 stability meetings were held to support foster families.

Additional financial support has also been given to foster parents, with the Government applying an above inflation increase of 12.43% to child allowances for foster parents which Fostering for Wolverhampton adopted, while the council also provided all foster parent households a one off payment of £650 to support with the cost of living last winter.

Councillor Chris Burden, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education, said: "Fostering for Wolverhampton seeks to provide comprehensive and excellent quality foster care to all children who are in the council's care, and our dedicated foster parents ensure they get a positive experience of family life within an environment that supports their physical, emotional and health needs.

"This annual report demonstrates how this is happening, and I would like to thank our fantastic foster parents for the outstanding work they do, day in and day out, for children and young people who are in the care of the council.”

He added: “It’s particularly pleasing to see that more and more of our children and young people are able to live with our foster parents, rather than through agencies. This is good news, not only because it reduces the cost to taxpayers, but also – and most importantly – because it means they are able to live with families closer to home.”

Fostering for Wolverhampton welcomes foster parents from a wide range of backgrounds, professions, and ethnic groups. Foster parents must live within a 20 mile radius of Wolverhampton, have a spare bedroom, and have room in their heart to look after our most vulnerable children and young people. 

The fostering process can take as little as 16 weeks and all foster parents will receive specialist support and training as well as a regular, tax exempt fee and allowance to cover the cost of bringing up the child. 

Around the clock help and support is available for foster carers, with a ‘buddy system’ in place from experienced foster parents to help newcomers along their fostering journey. There are also regular social events for foster families throughout the year.

People can find out more about fostering by visiting Fostering for Wolverhampton or calling the Fostering for Wolverhampton team on 01902 551133.

Fostering for Wolverhampton was rated Good as part of a wider inspection of Children’s Services by Ofsted last year with inspectors finding children live with foster parents who meet their needs.