The efforts of the team which recruits and trains foster carers in Somerset have been recognised in the Children & Young People Now Awards 2015.
Somerset County Council’s Fostering and Adoption Recruitment Service has been shortlisted for the Recruitment and Professional Development Award for their hard work in this area.
Between January and December 2014, a record high of 62 foster carers and 41 adoptive households were approved in Somerset. This is through holding regular information events around the county for people who could help turn the life of a child around, an easy-to-use website containing lots of helpful information, and going that extra mile throughout the approval process.
Described as the “gold standard for everyone working with children, young people and families”, the Children & Young People Now Awards are now in their tenth year.
Cllr Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families at Somerset County Council, said:
“This is brilliant news for the Service, which is committed to inspiring and encouraging more people in Somerset to embark on this vital role. Well done to everyone involved and good luck for the final.
“We continue to seek local people living in Somerset’s main towns – particularly in Yeovil, Shepton Mallet, Frome, Minehead, Bridgwater and Taunton – with the space in their homes, and their lives, to foster a child of secondary school age, teenagers, and siblings. If you are thinking about this, if you think you could give a young person much-needed support and guidance, please, do get in touch.”
Every foster carer interviewed by Ofsted during a recent inspection said they would recommend fostering for Somerset County Council. They also said that they value the training they receive from the authority, their inclusion in the service, and new developments.
The Council also offers its foster carers:
• A wealth of training and professional development opportunities
• Financial support for foster carers attending training courses
• Consistent and regular placements
• Specialist teams supporting foster carers looking after teenagers, parents and their children, or children and young people with particularly complex needs
• A pay progression scheme which rewards carers for their skills, experience and learning, and recognises the need to support carers who are able to care for sibling groups
• Competitive fees
• Retainers are paid for our specialist schemes that provide an income between placements where carers need to be available at home.
The awards presentation is taking place on Thursday 26 November at The Hurlingham Club in London.
To find out more about fostering with Somerset County Council, visit www.fosteradoptsomerset.org.uk or phone 0800 5879900.
Somerset County Council are also holding a fostering and adoption information event on Wednesday 21 October, 7pm-9pm, at Wincanton Balsam Centre, BA9 9HB.
A specific event on Short Break Care is being held at Critchill School in Frome on Thursday 15 October, 7pm-8.30pm. For further details about either event, phone the team on 0800 587 9900.