Agenda item

Annual Report of Durham County Council's Fostering Service - Report of the Practice Lead Children in Care, Children and Young People's Services


The Practice Lead for Children and Young People’s Services presented Durham County Council’s Fostering Service Annual Report (for copy of report and presentation see file of minutes). 




The Practice Lead referred to the increasing difficulties, locally and nationally, of recruiting and retaining foster carers and spoke of the work being done to provide an even distribution of foster carers throughout the county with targeted campaigns underway for foster carers for teenagers, children with disabilities and family groups. 


The Practice Lead explained the service had developed a Mockingbird fostering hub, to build a fostering family, with an experienced foster carer providing support to the other foster carers within the fostering hub family.  This benefits placement stability through providing peer support, respite time and regular social activities.  A Mockingbird event was to take place on Saturday 1 October, at which the young people would share their initial experiences.


In response to a question as to how the hub foster carer was selected, the Practice Lead clarified that the role was advertised and is salaried.  The successful candidate is trained to perform additional duties and responsibilities and to provide support to other foster carers and young people.  In response to a further question as to whether the model is available to independent foster carers, the Practice Lead responded that the model is in its early stages and therefore is focusing on Durham County Council foster carers initially, however, should independent fostering agencies wish to set-up their own model, they are able to do so.  Members praised the model commenting that it recognised foster parents face the same challenges as all parents and that it has the potential to have a positive impact on attracting and retaining foster carers.  </AI13>




That the report be noted.


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