Fos­ter drop-out rate is high­est

Rochdale Observer - - FOCUS ON PUBS -

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.

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