Foster drop-out rate is highest
THE rate at which would-be foster parents drop out after showing an initial interest is higher in the Rochdale borough than anywhere else in Greater Manchester.
Only 14 per cent of those who contacted Rochdale Council about fostering last year went on to complete an official enquiry form - the lowest rate of all the city region’s authorities.
The number of fostering households in the borough stood at 174 at the end of March - 15 fewer than the previous year, and this has contributed to a significant increase in the number of children being placed in residential care.
Sibling groups, those with special needs and older children are among those particularly affected.
And with the number of children needing a home outnumbering the number of carerhouseholds - whether council or independentevery effort is now being made to attract potential new foster parents.
The council plans to recruit at least 30 new foster parents by 2020.
Jill McGregor, assistant director of children’s social care at Rochdale Council presented a report on the borough’s cared for children to members of the health, schools and care overview committee.
Members raised concerns that some foster carers in Rochdale were taking on children from outside the borough via independent providers, rather than going through the authority’s in-house service.