New bid to keep more foster children within Rotherham as numbers in care grow

Fresh measures will be introduced in Rotherham to try to ensure increasing numbers of foster children are placed with carers within the town, or nearby, to reduce the issue of the council having to place them miles away.

Monday, 10th June 2019, 5:33 pm
Updated Friday, 14th June 2019, 12:34 pm

In some circumstances, it is seen as appropriate for children to be placed out of the area but in many cases it occurs only because of a lack of facilities closer to home.

Rotherham Council has seen numbers of looked after children in its care rise sharply in recent years and now wants to keep as many as possible in the area, which is regarded as best for the youngsters involved but also a move which should reduce costs for the authority.

As a result, they are aiming to recruit more of their own foster carers, rather than having to rely on those employed through private agencies. They currently account for more than 40 per cent of fostering places, compared to the 30 per cent organised directly through the council.

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The rest of the children are in care homes and the council is now seeking to work with high quality organisations to provide additional places within the town.

Coun Gordon Watson told the council’s ruling Cabinet, which approved the policy: “There will always be some people for whom it will be appropriate not to be in the borough.

“There are others we would like to have in the borough, or very close. This strategy is a way forwards, to move towards a position for children, for whom it is appropriate, to be placed in the borough.”