“For us, fostering with our local authority has proved to be everything that we were told it would not be.”
As Welsh Government moves ahead with plans to remove profit from the care of looked-after children, Foster Wales Rhondda Cynon Taf 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 RCT – which is part of the network representing Wales’ 22 local authorities - are 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.
Councillor Gareth Caple, Cabinet Member for Health & Social Care at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council said:
“Our foster carers provide stable, loving homes to hundreds of children and young people in Rhondda Cynon Taf who can’t live with their birth families.
These homes provide safety, love, security and reassurance that children and young people in the care of Rhondda Cynon Taf so badly need, and our foster carers do an incredible job in helping them thrive.
Fostering with Foster Wales RCT provides foster carers with a unique level of support. We provide continuous training opportunities, ongoing encouragement and support, as well as an active and engaged fostering community! But most importantly, we give children and young people the option to live locally in a place they know and feel comfortable in.
By fostering with Foster Wales RCT, you’ll also be safe in the knowledge that we are not an organisation driven by profit. As Welsh Government moves to remove profit-making from the care of children and young people in Wales, Foster Wales RCT will always focus on the best care for children and young people in our area. We appreciate all foster carers, and value the incredible difference they make to children’s lives.
We welcome enquiries from people from any background, ethnicity, religion, or sexuality. If you have a spare bedroom, the time, and the passion to dedicate to a child that needs it most, then we’d love to hear from you. You could provide the home and be the difference that transforms a child’s life, helping them to fulfil their potential.
If you are interested or would like to find out a bit more about fostering, the Foster Wales RCT team are available to have a friendly and informative chat to see if fostering is right for you. Our communities in Rhondda Cynon Taf are key to making this change happen. Get in touch with them today!”
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.
Foster carers Tim and Tor, who made the switch from an independent agency to Foster Wales RCT, explained their journey – and the difference they’ve seen when fostering with their local authority:
“We started fostering in 2015 with a private fostering agency, initially chosen as we already knew carers who were with them, and at the time it was a small family-run agency. Over the next 6 years, the family-run agency became more of a business and therefore profits seemed to be put before the children, which we fundamentally disagree with.
After seeing this change within the private sector, we made enquiries with our Local Authority about transferring, and 8 months later we were foster carers with Foster Wales RCT! We transferred with a child already in our care and this was a super smooth transition.
For us, fostering with our local authority has proved to be everything that we were told it would not be. We have excellent support, not just for ourselves but also for the children in our care. There are lots of events for the children, and training, which is far superior to what we were used to.
We have no regrets in leaving the private sector and moving to our local authority.”
For more information about fostering, and how to transfer, visit: https://rct.fosterwales.gov.wales/already-fostering/
Posted on 12/09/2023