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Make fostering a career choice

Posted onPosted on 18th Apr
Make fostering a career choice

Nottinghamshire County Council is appealing for people to make fostering children aged 11 and over a viable, stay-at-home, career choice.

It is keen to increase the number of Council placements it can offer this age group and reduce the amount it spends on independent fostering agencies as more than half of the children aged 11 and over are currently fostered through external agencies.

Coun Kate Foale who leads on children’s social care at the County Council said: “We’re extending our current fee paid scheme for fostering children aged 14 and upwards to 11 and above because of the increasing demand for foster carers for this age range.

“Children aged 11-15 typically stay in care longer than children under five because there’s less likelihood of a child aged 10 and over being adopted unless a specific family member is willing. So being able to offer children of 11 plus stable, long-term placements is absolutely vital for their long-term wellbeing.

“The care plan for most of these children is long-term fostering, although for some the aim is for them to return to their birth parents.

“We’re looking to recruit a further 10 foster carers to this new scheme over the coming year, so we’re looking for people who can offer loving and supportive homes to older children, particularly in the north of Nottinghamshire where there are more children in care and where we have more difficulty placing them internally.

“We often find that making fostering a career choice appeals more to those who have worked in caring or childcare professions, but the scheme in no way precludes others from applying. You may be looking for a career change or be an empty nester who feels that you’ve got what it takes to help transform the life of a vulnerable young person.”

Getting approval to foster under this scheme would guarantee carers a minimum income of £10,400. And the scheme attracts additional tax relief over and above the normal Personal Allowance.

“Under the 11+ scheme, foster carers are guaranteed to receive a weekly fee of £200 per week including periods when they don’t have a placement with them. Independent agencies typically don’t guarantee payments when placements aren’t filled,” added fostering service manager Jayne Austin.

“And foster carers have the opportunity to receive up to £379 per week when they have a placement which includes the weekly fostering allowances.

“Through our previous 14+ scheme, we found that this approach has worked well for recruiting and retaining carers for teenagers. In fact research suggests that people who care for older children cite financial reward as more of a factor when choosing who to foster for.”

The council is offering excellent packages of support to its 11+ foster carers including 24/7 support from its experienced and skilled team of supervising social workers during the assessment process and afterwards; varied training packages and opportunities to develop their skills; a link with an experienced carer for new foster carers; and a programme of activities for children and young people.

One carer will need to be home-based and able to provide the young person with a bedroom of their own and be able to transport a young person.

To find out more about the 11+ scheme, call the Council’s recruitment team on 0845 301 8899 or visit