Nottinghamshire: Bid to address fostering issue

The demand for foster care is Nottinghamshire is rising.The demand for foster care is Nottinghamshire is rising.
The demand for foster care is Nottinghamshire is rising.
Plans to recruit an extra 100 foster carers over the next four years will save more than £6.5 million, claim Nottinghamshire County Council.

The authority is bidding to reduce its reliance on more expensive external fostering providers.

There are currently 892 children in care - a figure which has nearly doubled over the last five years.

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“We have already started building on existing work to reduce our reliance on more expensive privately-run or out-of-county residential placements and our use of independent fostering providers, increasing the number of council-managed fostering placements,” said coun Kate Foale, the council’s lead for children’s social care.

We’re also be reviewing the cases of children currently in private or out-of-county residential placements to minimise the number of children entering residential care whose needs can be met through a family placement.”

The proposal is just one way the council hopes to cut £154 million from its budget over the next three years.

The council currently provides placements for 439 looked-after children, which equates to 48% of all the children in care with the remainder in residential care or foster placements with independent providers.

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With an 8% increase in the number of fostering enquiries, there has been a drive to increase provision.

Those efforts have included a lamp banner campaign, refreshed fostering web pages, extending the council’s customer service centre hours and independent foster carers being invited to consider a transfer to the fostering service.

Jayne Austin, service manager for fostering, said: “To build on the existing work already under way to recruit additional foster carers, five more fostering social workers have been recruited to the current team of 33.

“They will focus on recruiting, assessing and supporting additional foster care households.”

To find out more about fostering, call the council’s recruitment team on 0845 3018899 or visit