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Herefordshire - a good place to live and a good place to be a foster carer

Herefordshire is a good place to be a foster carer and as a result children and young people feel safe, secure and experience positive care in a family environment.

That’s the view of Ofsted inspectors who visited the service in February to carry out a full inspection of the fostering service.  The inspector’s overall judgement of the service was adequate with the quality of service and outcomes for children being good.

The report said that the strength of the fostering service lies in foster carers having access to consistent supervising social workers and consistency of practice. This in turn helps children and young people feel positive about the care they receive.

Amanda has been fostering with Herefordshire Council for six years.  At the moment she is looking after three children and says the support she has received from the fostering team makes a big difference.  She said: “Being a foster carer in Herefordshire is a fabulous experience.  You can get through challenging times if the support is there. Occasionally we have had to deal with emotionally charged behaviour from the children we care for, but the council’s fostering social workers have always been there for us.  They are a close knit team and we feel very much part of this team.”

One 13 year old girl, spoke about her experience of living with foster carers: “They are supportive throughout everything I go through. They show love and affection, commitment and responsibility, they should keep doing exactly what they are doing.”

Councillor Jenny Hyde, support member for children, has worked with foster carers and looked after children for years.  She said:  “I have seen these children grow up and flourish because of the excellent care they have received.  Our foster carers are simply amazing.”

Councillor Patricia Morgan, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said:  “We know that Ofsted has raised the bar considerably and we are already improving our arrangements following the inspection of child protection last October - the Ofsted inspectors noted this.

“We have been striving to achieve the best possible outcomes for children and young people and are pleased that this was graded good.

“We know that children do much better when they can be found a foster carer within the county.  But we need more carers, particularly carers who can look after children with special needs and older children.   We support our foster carers well and Ofsted has endorsed this.”

Anyone interested in fostering is urged to ring the team for an informal chat on 01432 383240.