National recognition for Fostering and Adoption recruitment Service

The efforts of the team which recruits and trains foster carers in Somerset have been recognised for their innovative and helpful approach at a highly prestigious national awards ceremony last week.

Somerset County Council’s Foster and Adoption Recruitment Service beat off tough competition to make it to the awards evening and were recognised as runners up for the Recruitment and Professional Development Award for their hard work in this area.

Described as the “gold standard for everyone working with children, young people and families”, the Children & Young People Now Awards are now in their tenth year. The prestigious Awards ceremony has held at the Hurlingham Club in London and was hosted by CBeebies presenter Cerrie Burnell and the National Lottery’s ‘Voice of the Balls’ Alan Dedicoat.

All the shortlisted candidates were praised as being the “most hard working and committed professionals in the country.”

The national recognition is important according to Trevor Goss, Team Manager for the Fostering and Adoption Recruitment service at Somerset County Council, he said: “We are delighted that the hard work we have put in over the last few years has been recognised at these prestigious awards.

“However, what really matters is that children who cannot, for whatever reason, remain with their birth family, are more likely to be placed in good quality foster homes nearer to their schools and family as a result of the improving placement choices. Moreover much as we enjoyed attending these awards, the real heroes are those hundreds of people who open their homes and their hearts to some of Somerset’s most vulnerable young people. Our foster carers are the real heroes.”

Between January and December 2014, a record high of 62 foster carers and 41 adoptive households were approved in Somerset. This is through holding regular information events around the county, an easy-to-use website containing lots of helpful information, dedicated staff on the recruitment line, and going that extra mile throughout the approval process.

Cllr Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families at Somerset County Council, said: “This is brilliant news for the Service, which is committed to inspiring and encouraging more people in Somerset to embark on this vital role, but more importantly it is also brilliant news for those children who cannot for whatever reason live with their families. The team have not only significantly increased approvals, but are recognised for their helpfulness, knowledge and ‘can do’ attitude. Well done to everyone involved.

“We continue to seek people with the space in their homes, and their lives, to foster a child of secondary school age, teenagers, and siblings, particularly those living in Somerset’s main towns of Yeovil, Shepton Mallet, Frome, Bridgwater and Taunton. If you think you could give a young person much-needed support and guidance, please do get in touch.”

To find out more about fostering with Somerset County Council, visit http://www.fosteradoptsomerset.org.uk or phone 0800 5879900.

Or why not come to our next fostering and adoption information event on Monday 7 December at the Wessex Hotel in Street from 7pm to 9pm. A presentation will take place at 7pm and there will be a chance to chat informally with social workers, foster carers and adopters. For further details about the event, please phone the team on 0800 587 9900.

For more information about the Children and Young People Now Awards 2015, click here: http://www.cypnawards.com/