Recruitment campaign starts
A campaign has provided a potential boost to the number of foster carers in the Stirling area.
The recruitment campaign by Stirling Council’s social services has seen eight households identified as becoming potential foster carers by the end of 2017, in contrast to two households which were registered in 2016.
The council say the increased capacity will allow more children to benefit from staying in stable, living situations close to their own community.
The campaign incorporated ideas such as advertising stands at a supermarket and the Thistles Shopping Centre, as well as email, online advertisements and social media posts to generate interest. There was also a specific focus on the urban north area.
The Fostering and Adoption Team is also set to create a dedicated post to support further ongoing recruitment, which will have responsibility for taking enquiries and helping minimise delays to enquiries.
Convener of the Social Care and Health Committee, Councillor Scott Farmer, said: “Through increasing the number of foster carers within Stirling Council we are providing more options that will allow young people to remain in families within the local area. This provides young people with a sense of belonging and allows them to maintain access to the same education, health, employment and leisure as their peers.
“I am delighted that this campaign has proved so successful and the fostering and adoption team will continue to build on the innovative methods used as we look to develop an enhanced fostering service for the future.”
Committee member, Tory councillor Jeremy McDonald said : “Foster carers play a vital role, It is often challenging but can be hugely rewarding work. Not only is it far better for the young people to be placed within their local areas where possible but it is often far more cost effective than placements outside the area with other agencies. It is a win-win as we then have mores resources to invest in supporting our foster carers and the young people they support so well.”
The council was recently praised for its fostering and adoption service by the Care Inspectorate following a short notice inspection in April.
The service received gradings of 5 (Very Good) in both categories in which it was assessed, which included quality of care and support, and the quality of staffing, a continuing improvement over recent years.
The inspection report added: “We found a highly motivated and well trained staff team who were confident about being able to provide the necessary practical and emotional support to foster carers, children and young people. Staff were all knowledgeable and experienced in all areas of fostering.”
Councillor Farmer said: “This is an excellent report that reflects tremendously well on our staff, who deserve the highest praise for maintaining such high standards. The inspectors themselves indicated that the staff team were highly motivated, well trained and immersed in good practice.”
Councillor McDonald added: “The team is very well regarded and has been providing an excellent service for a number of years. Such a positive inspection report reflects this. This is often very complex, difficult work that does not always receive the recognition it deserves.”