children, care, fostering - pxfuel image free to use licence

Former foster carers could soon be contacted by Cheshire East in a bid to recruit more people to look after children needing a home, writes Belinda Ryan.

There is a national shortage of foster carers and the council said it needs to ensure its recruitment campaigns target the right people.

Its fostering service is growing and has to meet the needs of the children and young people who require foster homes.

But when the matter of former foster carers was raised by Cllr David Jefferay (Wilmslow East, Ind) at Thursday’s meeting of the corporate parenting committee, it appeared they had not yet been targeted.

Cllr Jefferay said: “It’s always easier to sell to people who’ve bought off you before, so I was wondering whether we actually keep in touch with people who have fostered before.

“With that in mind, I messaged my sister, because she used to foster for Cheshire East three/four years ago, and asked her does Cheshire East chase you to ask you to foster again and she’s replied saying ‘no, but lots of other agencies do’.”

He was told by an officer this was something the council could do.

Earlier in the meeting, Cllr Jos Saunder (Poynton East & Pott Shrigley, Con) said the council had struggled for a number of years to get enough foster carers and “it’s something we need to address”.

Annemarie Parker, head of service for cared for children, said social media has a huge role to play in terms of recruitment for fostering and adoption but she also referred to the importance of physical group meetings.

Committee chair Kathryn Flavell (Sandbach Elworth, Lab) said: “The idea of having an open house, if you like, where people can come and just find out a bit more without making any commitment or making any application, I think that would be something we could really promote.”

(Main image by pxfuel – free to use licence)

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