Help children and teenagers in crisis turn their lives around

A New Year is the perfect time to embrace a new, life-changing challenge. This January, Somerset County Council is on the hunt for people with enthusiasm, drive and life experience to help vulnerable children and young people in crisis.

Foster Care web crop single placement scheme

The Fostering Service has launched its Single Placement Fostering Scheme. It is aimed at proactive, flexible individuals and couples with the determination to help children and young people in our care who have complex backgrounds and often display challenging behaviour.

This new scheme represents a rewarding, specialist branch of fostering, focusing on one child or young person at a time. Aged 10 and over, these children and teenagers cannot live with their birth families, and will have high level needs – behavioural, learning, emotional or medical – which means they must be the only young person in the household.

People who become Single Placement Carers will be part of a professional team, committed to supporting the young person with whatever comes up, and helping them make positive steps in their lives. They would need to be home-based, and will receive a weekly fee of £375 a week in recognition of their skills and responsibilities, as well as payments in between placements. Carers will also be given high level support and supervision from the Single Placement Care team, and the chance to attend a bi-monthly support group with other professionals to get advice and discuss strategies for helping the child or young person.

The child or teenager might need a high level of supervision and display behaviour that is of concern. They may have experienced abuse or neglect, or have parents unable to care for them. They could have complex medical needs and disabilities. They might need help with tackling their use of drugs and alcohol, or be known to the police.

Cllr Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “We know there are talented, unflappable individuals in Somerset who have the potential to make an astonishing difference to these young people, and help them confront their challenges head on. We really want to hear from them.

“Perhaps you were that child or young person who found yourself getting into trouble at school or college, or with the police. Maybe you had someone you relied on who helped you turn your life round, and you want to make your mark by giving something back. Maybe you really struggled with your behaviour, and know what it’s like from that perspective. You might already work with young people needing extra support and structure, or have experience of dealing with difficult children and teenagers.

“These children and young people need their chance to find the person who can help them start on the right path, and unlock their potential. Could this person be you?”

To find out more about the Single Placement Scheme, or other types of fostering, visit or phone us on 0800 587 9900 for a confidential chat.

Don’t miss! Fostering events in Spring 2016

• Interested in becoming a foster carer? Book in for a personal one-to-one fostering chat, 9am-4pm, Monday 11 January, Bridgwater House (TA6 3AR). Phone 0800 587 9900.

• Our friendly, professional Fostering Service is at Bridgwater’s Angel Place Shopping Centre, 9am-4pm on Friday 29 January

• Our next information event is on Monday 1 February, 7pm-9pm at Taunton’s Holiday Inn (TA1 2UA). Don’t miss the presentation at 7pm, and speak to social workers and current foster carers.