Specialist foster carers needed

Experience of childcare, a spare room and plenty of time and patience are just some of the ingredients Somerset County Council is looking for in new foster carers for a specialist fostering scheme.

Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care (MTFC) gives that little bit more to struggling children in care, aged three to twelve, helping to provide them with a stable and structured home life and support to get on well in school.

An information event about the scheme is taking place with social workers on Friday 17 October from 11am to 2pm at the Holiday Inn in Taunton giving the opportunity to find out more.

People interested in becoming MTFC foster carers will need some experience of child care, time in their lives, a spare room and no other children living at home.

A willingness to work with a professional team is also essential as a team of psychologists, social workers and teaching professionals will all be on hand to support and nurture the child in a structured way.

One foster carer who has joined the scheme is John from the Mendip area, a single male carer. He has spoken on film about his experiences as an MTFC carer, the challenges and the rewards, watch it here: http://www.fosteringinsomerset.org.uk/SuccessStory

In the film John explains how he became involved in the scheme: “I’ve been fostering for around about 20 years. In 2013 I was offered voluntary retirement and someone suggested it might be an opportunity for me to do fostering full time so I got in touch with the MTFC team at Somerset County Council.”

A team of professionals work daily with John to help give the child he is looking after the right amount of support. He continued: “There’s lots of feedback on a daily basis on different types of behaviour which is very different to the mainstream fostering I was used to. That’s what is a little bit different about MTFC; there is a lot more input from the professionals. We meet as a team once a week which gives you an opportunity to get together as a team and there is a 24-hour phone line if you need anything urgently.”

Cllr Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, commented, “Foster carers like John are exactly who we need for our MTFC scheme; committed, patient, experienced and enthusiastic to further their skills. With these people on board we can really make a difference to the lives of children in care who are struggling. I would encourage anyone who thinks they could commit to the scheme to contact the team to find out more.”

Children on the scheme will stay with foster carers for around nine to twelve weeks and the foster carers will receive a weekly fee of around £250 in recognition of the skills and commitment required for the role. Foster carers will also receive an allowance for the child to cover the cost of looking after the child, for example for food and clothes.

Come along to the information event to find out more about the scheme or visit http://www.fosteringinsomerset.org.uk or phone 0800 587 9900 to order an information pack.