Council’s extra cash incentive for people to become foster parents
By Bill Heaney
Despite criticism in the past about using money to attract people to become foster parents, West Dunbartonshire Council’s Health and Social Care Partnership has done it again by publicising the increased the fees it pays to support foster carers.
They have decided too to make it clear that people in same sex relationships and single people will be considered as foster parents.
The Council states: “It is hoped the changes [increased fees] will attract new foster carers, as well as recognise the hard work being done by existing families.
“The move brings the Council more into line with private fostering agencies and neighbouring local authorities and is intended to ensure fostering is a financially-viable option for residents who want to help improve the life of a local young person.”
The HSCP say West Dunbartonshire’s fostering team are keen to recruit new foster carers to look after all children but at the moment, particularly young people between 10 and 16 years-old and sibling groups.
They claim that local people often mistakenly rule themselves out of being a carer based on incorrect myths. These include a mistaken belief that you cannot foster if you live in rented accommodation, are over 55 years of age, in a same sex relationship or are single.
Allan MacLeod, the new chairman of West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “We are keen to speak to residents who are interested in becoming foster carers and would like to help local children stay in West Dunbartonshire.
“We currently have children living out with the area meaning they may have to move school, leaving behind extended family and friends. We want to ensure that residents who have a strong desire to help children by fostering are not put off because they can’t afford it. People do not choose to become foster carers for money but we have to ensure that it is financially viable and increasing our fees will help to achieve that.
“We need more foster carers to care for children of all ages but currently we urgently require foster carers to look after young people between 10 and 16 years old and people who could look after sibling groups. People can sometimes be too quick to rule themselves out of becoming a foster carer so I would urge residents to contact our staff who will happily answer any questions you may have.”
For more information call the fostering team on 01389 776443 and 01389 776413 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.wdhscp.org.uk/children/specialist-social-work/looked-after-children/adoption-and-fostering/becoming-a-foster-carer/