Appeal goes out for short-term foster carers

Somerset County Council is appealing for potential short-term foster carers to come forward to help children and young people during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency.

Recruits will help care for children looked after, aged 0-18, and will be provided with all the support given to mainstream foster carers including a supervising social worker and weekly fee and allowance. The Council is keen to hear from those who have had an enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check in the last 12 months in any other role.

“It does not matter if you are single or in a relationship, if you are a homeowner or renting, or whether you have children of your own – anyone can be a foster carer. We need carers as diverse as the children in our care,” said Councillor Frances Nicholson, Cabinet member for Children and Families.

“Children need a safe and secure home and in these very difficult times that is more important than ever.”

The County Council will assess candidates as COVID-19 Short Term Foster Carers completing a condensed assessment and intensive training.

A home visit will be required as part of the assessment and social distancing will be maintained.

Once assessed, a panel – meeting virtually – will consider the carer and a decision can be made. If the candidate is approved as a short-term carer, they can care for a child for up to three months. There will be a review every four weeks to make sure the carer has the right support and can still care for the child.

Allowances currently start at £143.57 per week for each child, plus a minimum of £75 per week foster carer fee. Payments are higher for an older child or for those caring for more than one child.

At the end of the three months, carers can consider moving towards a full fostering role or end their involvement with the child moving to alternative longer-term carers

To apply or find out more information contact Fostering In Somerset on 0800 587 9900, visit www.fosteringinsomerset.org.uk.