Foster Wales Pembrokeshire highlights benefits of fostering with your local authority
“Our experience has been really positive. The support we’ve received from Foster Wales Pembrokeshire far outweighs that provided by the agency.”
As Welsh Government moves ahead with plans to remove profit from the care of looked-after children, Foster Wales Pembrokeshire 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 Pembrokeshire – which is part of the network representing Wales’ 22 local authorities – is 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.
Darren Mutter, Head of Children’s Services in Pembrokeshire, says, “Welsh local authority fostering services are at the forefront of the positive developments being driven forward by Welsh Government under their ‘eliminate’ agenda. The proposed changes give a clear statement about how we value looked after children in Wales, and it chimes perfectly with how we view children and the provision of their care in Pembrokeshire.
“Fostering for a local authority offers lots of benefits to both carer and to the children cared for, who get the opportunity of remaining in the county where they live, closer to family and friends. We want to expand our community of caring, loving foster carers so that more of Pembrokeshire’s children can remain in our county. Local people and local communities caring for and supporting local children. Please, join us today in providing the foundations for our most vulnerable children to thrive.”
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.
Andrew, who made the switch from an independent agency to Foster Wales Pembrokeshire earlier this year, explained his journey and the difference he has seen fostering for the local authority.
“We started fostering with an agency but felt unsupported so decided to move to our local authority fostering service, Foster Wales Pembrokeshire.
“Our experience has been really positive, and the support that we’ve received, both in terms of equipment, peer support, our supervising social worker, providing the children with overnight stays with other foster carers and summer play schemes, far outweighs what was provided by the agency.
“The children we care for are settled in their local community and schools, are able to have regular family time with their parents and maintain their existing relationships and friendships which will ultimately mean a better outcome for them.”
For more information about fostering, and how to transfer, visit: https://pembrokeshire.fosterwales.gov.wales/already-fostering/