The latest annual report from Kent County Council’s (KCC) fostering service shows continued improvements to the support available to foster carers and children in care.
Despite nationwide challenges in foster care recruitment, KCC recruited 78 new carers last year and improved on the average time it takes new carers to go through the approval process, meaning it is easier than ever for experienced foster carers to transfer to Kent.
The authority also created 30 Foster Carer Ambassador posts in which existing carers support the service to attract new carers and develop updated policy and guidance.
Caroline Smith, KCC’s Assistant Director for Corporate Parenting said: “As a council, we are extremely proud of the excellent care we are able to provide to children and young people in our care . This is achieved by the dedication, passion and enthusiasm of all our foster carers and the commitment they show to the children, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
“In the coming year, we will be working extremely hard to make the training, help and support available to Kent foster carers even better and will be working on a number of exciting initiatives to put the voice of foster carers and children at the centre of everything we do.”
Among Kent Fostering’s other successes is the development of the new Hub Family Scheme, where a foster family is linked with several children living with other foster carers in their community whom they can help during difficult times. This supports the main carer and gives children greater placement stability.
The service is also renewing its commitment to recruit ten new foster carers to support vulnerable parents to care for their babies, through parent and child foster placements.
Kent Fostering currently has more than 650 foster carers looking after more than 900 children in care. Foster carers are urgently needed across Kent for children of all ages, including parent and child carers, disabled children, sibling groups and teenagers.
To foster with KCC you need to:
- Have a spare bedroom
- Be a full-time resident in the UK or have leave to remain
- To be able to give the time to care for a child or young person, often on a full-time basis