Kent County Council needs 200 new foster homes as the demand for carers is reaching crisis point.
Without more carers, it is difficult to provide the stable, permanent homes which can make a crucial difference to the future of a vulnerable young person.
The issue is a national one with more than 9000 more foster carers needed across the UK, as more children are entering care.
In Kent this year, 1593 children became looked after (entered care) compared to 899 in 2013/4, adding more pressure to the fostering service.
Kent County Council needs homes for older children, aged 13-18, supporting them towards independence, for children with disabilities and for sibling groups to help keep brothers and sisters together.
Carers are also needed for the large number of unaccompanied asylum seeking young people who have gone through traumatic journeys to arrive in Kent.
Peter Oakford, KCC Cabinet Member for Specialist Children’s Services, said: “We need more foster carers now. As the number of children entering care continues to rise, councils across the country are struggling to recruit the homes we need to be able to do our best for our Looked After Children.
“We need more homes so that we have a wide range of people who can meet the diverse needs of these vulnerable young people. This means we are more able to make the right match first time and find them a stable, permanent home in which they can thrive.
“We need your help. If you have ever considered fostering, now is the time to take the plunge. It is not an easy job but KCC offers all the support and training you need and it really is one of the most rewarding roles you can do.”
Of the 1446 children fostered with Kent County Council, 68% are aged over ten years old and 57% have siblings who also need foster homes. Eight per cent of the young people also have disabilities.
Fostering with KCC means giving a home to local children with local support, whenever you need it, in your own community and a local social worker. KCC will provide you a package of support including excellent payments and training.
There is also the opportunity to support unaccompanied asylum seeking young people who have made the journey to the UK.
Foster carers can be married, single, living with a partner, with or without children of their own.
To find out more about fostering in Kent or to get details of the next information event near you, visit www.kentfostering.co.uk. Alternatively phone 03000 420002 and speak to one of our advisors.
Where do we need foster carers?
|North Kent||West Kent||East Kent 1 (Faversham, Sittingbourne, Sheppey, Swale)||East Kent 2
|East Kent 3
|South Kent 1
(Hythe, Romney Marsh area)
|South Kent 2
(Dover, Folkestone, Ashford)
|Parent and Child||2||4||4||0||4||2||1|
*A foster carer who supports a child to achieve a specific plan e.g. bringing a child on for adoption, supporting an adolescent towards independence, reuniting a child with its birth family.
West – Maidstone, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells
North – Dartford, Swanley, Sevenoaks, Gravesend
South – Ashford (rural), Deal, Dover, Aylesham
East Kent – Canterbury, Sittingbourne