By Alison Stathers-Tracey
Foster care capacity

Working alongside commissioners, Children’s Services leaders, and young people and carers, C.Co has produced a unique Children’s Offer support package. This extensive package includes a tailored solution to improve Foster Care capacity for Local Authorities and collaboratives.

The traditional model for recruiting and supporting people and families to foster children is sadly no longer translating to increased numbers of people becoming Foster Carers – so something needs to change.

The rate of applications to become a Foster Carer is not in step with the current high demand for loving homes for children – particularly for older children, who have complex needs.

In brief: the challenges facing foster care growth:
  • Children’s Services Teams often lack specialist capacity locally to recruit, engage and retain new Foster Carers.
  • Foster Carers, as a result, can face increasing pressure to take in more children to help the situation.
  • The number of Foster Care placement breakdowns reported by children’s leaders is increasing.
  • Demand for short and longer term care is up, with more children experiencing placement moves or requiring a residential home placement, driving up costs and, in some cases, reducing positive outcomes.
  • All of these challenges risk turning fostering into a negative experience, which amplifies difficulties in peer recruitment and training.
How can C.Co help?
  • Our team has detailed project management capacity to bring to your Authority to aid fresh thinking and offer new approaches to improve your Foster Care offer and capacity
  • As well as adding value to tried and tested recruitment and retention research, C.Co can also apply an options appraisal. This will increase medium-term growth models of support to increase capacity, improve outcomes and maximise investment locally, where it’s most needed.
  • We can also co-produce invest to save options for costed wraparound support, respite options to reduce placement breakdown.
  • Our sector-led experts can produce detailed implementation plans that truly push the boundaries to improve the Foster Care offer locally, within your tight budget.
  • Co’s solution includes an end-to-end business process review, along with improvement proposals for current Fostering application, assessment and registration. This streamlines the process and maximises effectiveness, exploring both digital and human options for success.
  • Our support aligns with DFE innovation funding for Mockingbird etc, as we are a trusted delivery partner.

Children’s Services is an area of expertise for the C.Co team. Our evidence-based support package includes solutions for future SEND place planning, an effectiveness test for your Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) process, and the creation of new Alternative Provision, as well as support for the creation and forecasting of safe, stable homes and families for Cared for Children and Care Leavers.

Contact us to find out more about our unique capabilities.