AS WELSH GOVERNMENT moves ahead with plans to remove profit from the care of looked-after children, Foster Wales Ceredigion highlights the benefits of fostering with a local authority.
Wales is in the process of a whole system change for children’s services.
The changes proposed in the 2021 co-operation agreement between Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru prioritise services that are locally based, locally designed, and locally accountable.
Within these plans there is a clear commitment to ‘eliminate private profit from the care of looked after children.’ This means, by 2027, care of children that are looked after in Wales will be provided by public sector, charitable or not-for-profit organisations.
In light of these changes, Foster Wales Ceredigion – which is part of the network representing Wales’ 22 local authorities – are calling for more people to become local authority foster carers and encouraging those currently fostering with a for-profit agency to transfer over to their local authority team.
Councillor Alun Williams, Ceredigion County Council Cabinet Member for Through Age Wellbeing, said: “Wales is leading the way; this policy offers a huge opportunity to make a long-lasting, positive change to the care of young people in Wales – benefiting looked-after young people today, and in the future. Fostering with your Local Authority can offer many benefits, including receiving support and training, and most importantly, the option for young people to stay local. Local communities are key to making this change happen. Get in touch with the Foster Wales Ceredigion team today to find out more.”
In Wales, 79% of children cared for by private fostering agencies are fostered outside their local area, and 6% are moved out of Wales entirely. Meanwhile, 84% of those living with local authority foster carers stay within their own local area, close to home, to school, to family and friends.
Foster carer Jo, who made the switch from an independent agency to Foster Wales, earlier this year, explained her journey – and the difference she’s seen when fostering with a local authority: “Shortly after I turned forty, I began fostering teenagers through an agency. A lot of the young people came from outside the area. This put them on the back foot. They lost contact with their friends, the places they knew, their roots. Now that I foster with a local authority, the young people stay local. This means they stay connected to their roots which helps them feel secure and it’s more natural for visits, access and family time.”
For more information about fostering, and how to transfer, call the Foster Wales Ceredigion team on 01545 574000 or visit https://ceredigion.fosterwales.gov.wales/