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South East local authorities join forces to recruit more foster carers

Foster Carers, News,

Young girl laughing at the dinner table with her foster parents

Councils from across the South East have come together to create the country’s largest local authority fostering partnership, in a bid to increase the number of foster carers across the region.

 

With over 11,000 children in care across the South East, and fewer than 3,000 local authority approved foster carers, there is an urgent need to recruit more people to provide safe, loving, and local homes for vulnerable children.

 

Launching today (8 July), Local Authority Fostering South East is a new virtual fostering hub bringing together the expertise of 20 councils from across the region including Portsmouth City Council.

 

The new hub will ensure prospective foster carers have access to a centralised platform for their initial enquiries about fostering and will see local authorities work collaboratively to provide the best support, right from the start of a carer’s fostering journey.

 

The new regional hub will be running marketing campaigns to raise awareness of this unique role and encourage more people to take the next step and become a foster carer with their local council. In doing so they will benefit from comprehensive local training, generous financial assistance, and ongoing support from a non-profit organisation.

 

Natasha Sampson, South East regional strategic lead, said:

 

“This is a really exciting time for fostering. For the first time in the South East, we are leveraging the collective skills, knowledge, resources and support of 20 local authorities to ensure children and young people have a stable home, in a loving family, which they all deserve.”

 

“The new hub will make this possible by increasing the number of local foster carers and making sure they are well supported through their recruitment journey and beyond.”

 

“I would urge anyone interested in fostering to get in touch with us to find out more about becoming a foster carer with your local authority.”

 

Foster Portsmouth, Portsmouth City Council’s fostering service, is a proud partner of this national Department for Education (DfE) funded project, with Local Authority Fostering South East being the largest of nine regions taking part in this pilot programme.

 

Cllr Suzy Horton, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council, comments:

 

“This is a really exciting and hugely significant project that means more children and young people in our care can find loving foster families in the Portsmouth area and across the region. Working together to pool expertise and resource will benefit our whole fostering community in the South East, most importantly the children and young people in our city who need stable and caring homes when their parents are unable to look after them.”

 

Prospective foster carers will also benefit from a new fostering ambassador scheme, enabling them to speak to an existing carer to find out what this life-changing role is really like.

 

More information on becoming a foster carer can be found at www.foster.portsmouth.gov.uk, at www.facebook.com/fosterportsmouth, or on the new regional website (LAfosteringSE.org.uk) and by following Local Authority Fostering South East on Facebook, Instagram and X (formerly Twitter).

 

Those interested in fostering can contact the regional hub directly to speak to a member of the recruitment team by calling 0300 131 2797, emailing: info@lafosteringse.org.uk or contact us.

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