Urgent call for foster carers as children in Surrey care system rises

March 15, 2019
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The number of children coming into the care system in Surrey has risen by more than 10% in the last three years, prompting an urgent plea for more foster carers.

Of the 1,000 children in Surrey County Council’s (SCC) care, 500 are living in foster care, a Spelthorne joint committee meeting heard on Wednesday (March 13).

But the council only has around 300 foster carers in the county.

That means around 40% of looked-after children needing foster care are being sent out of Surrey to carers from another agency which increases the cost, councillors were told.

A plea for more support from county, borough and district councillors was made on Wednesday to help find people who could offer a safe and stable home to a vulnerable child.

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Surrey Fostering Service has launched a bid to reach out to different communities in Surrey throughout 2019 to encourage residents to become foster carers.

More help is needed to support unaccompanied asylum seeking children who enter the county. Surrey has the third largest number of children to support as they arrive in the country.

Francesca Magnavacca, fostering and adoption recruitment officer for Surrey Fostering Service, said: “We need more foster carers in the county. We are trying to engage more residents to consider fostering.

“We are working really hard as a service to keep children in the county, that’s why it’s so important to us. We want the best outcomes for these children in Surrey.”

Surrey County Council needs more foster carers
(Image: Trinity Mirror Southern)

Her comments came at the SCC and Spelthorne Borough Council joint committee on Wednesday, where councillors were asked to help promote the message.

The fostering team is aiming to recruit around 50 new fostering households in 2019/20 and so far this year has about 30 households being assessed to foster.

Councillor Alison Griffiths said there were still many myths around who could foster so councillors needed to get the message out.

She said: “We really need to start bringing these children back into Surrey. We have got people who would be great at fostering but don’t realise they are eligible.”

Facts about who can foster:

  • To be a foster carer for Surrey you must be between 21 and 70 when you start the assessment.
  • You don’t need to have had children in order to foster but you do need a spare room.
  • Short Break carers are needed who only need a spare room when you have the child to come and stay overnight.
  • You don’t have to be employed and you don’t have to be married.

Article source: https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/urgent-call-foster-carers-children-15974244


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