Last year, the Fostering for Wolverhampton team recruited 59 new foster carers, meaning the City of Wolverhampton Council now has well over 200 dedicated foster carers who combine a desire to help children with a commitment to providing the best possible care.
But there are still children and young people in care who are looking for a permanent foster home.
The team held a series of virtual events during this year’s Foster Care Fortnight, the UK’s biggest foster carer recruitment campaign, to highlight the excellent work being done by the city's foster carers, especially during the current coronavirus pandemic, and to call for more people to consider taking on the role.
And so far more than 60 people have expressed an initial interest in finding out more and several are already underway with their application to become a foster carer.
Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “It is really encouraging that people are considering fostering. Foster care transforms the lives of children and young people as well as those of foster carers and their families.
“Foster carers help children and young people flourish and fulfil their potential, as well as provide a vital service to our society.
“The coronavirus emergency, for some, has been an opportunity to reflect on what is important in our communities and how they can make a real difference to those who are more vulnerable in our society.
“We recruit all year round, so if you are considering fostering, then please contact us and talk to our team.”
The council is focusing on increasing the recruitment of internal foster carers, so that there are less occasions when the council has to place a child in care with an external agency.
Foster carers can be sole carers, married or in a relationship – and they won't be on their own as help and support is available 24 hours a day. They will receive six months' “buddy support” from experienced foster carers who are there to befriend and guide them through the system.
Also, supervising social workers provide intensive support for the first 6 weeks of a placement and this support continues then every month. Extensive training is ongoing with regular face to face and online modules being part of every foster carers development plan. Foster carers also get help via a peer support network and a social events calendar provides regular opportunities for foster carers and families to come together.
Placements can be anything from a few days to a number of years, and carers receive a regular, tax exempt fee and allowance to cover the cost of bringing up the child.