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Can you foster a local child?

Published Thursday, 10th May 2018

Photo of three children

Foster homes are urgently needed for children across the Borough, from Leigh-on-Sea through to Shoeburyness.

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is searching for new foster carers across the borough, to give these young people safe, stable and happy homes either in a short-term or long-term fostering arrangement.

The search for a new wave of carers will begin with several drop-in information sessions across the borough, which will take place over the next few weeks. Anyone interested is invited to come along and find out more about what it means emotionally, financially and practically, to be a foster carer in Southend. The sessions are informal, pressure-free, and purely a chance to discover whether fostering is something that might work for them, their family, and for foster children.

Once the interested parties have digested the information and had any questions answered, they can register their interest with the Council and enter the formal application process, whereby the Council will undertake relevant suitability checks.

Cllr James Courtenay, Executive Councillor for Children and Learning, said: “The fostering team at Southend-on-Sea Borough Council values the work of our local foster carers immensely, and is committed to giving first class, local support to our carers, 24/7.

“We have local children who need foster homes now, and I would like to encourage those in our borough, who may be able to foster a local child, to give serious consideration to taking the next step and finding out more at our information sessions. Fostering with the Council means helping local children, and being a valuable part of our borough’s community. The fostering team are always on hand should anyone have any questions, so please do get in touch.”

Key requirements to foster in Southend:

  • A spare bedroom
  • The ability to provide a stable, happy and supportive home, and to be a positive role model

The rewards of fostering with Southend-on-Sea Borough Council:

  • A rewarding role, making an enormous difference to a local child
  • A generous allowance
  • A dedicated, qualified supervising social worker to offer support and guidance
  • A 24/7 support phone line
  • No waiting list. Once the full application process is complete, and all relevant checks have been made, it is usually relatively quick to start fostering
  • Continuous professional development through courses and independent study
  • Carer-to-carer support, with local coffee mornings and professional meetings

Dates of information sessions:

  • 16 May 2018, 10am – 2pm: Leigh Community Centre, Elm Road,. Leigh-on-Sea
  • 25 May, 12pm – 2pm: Southend Leisure & Tennis Centre, Garon Park, Southend-on-Sea
  • 26 May, 10am – 12pm: Civic Centre, Victoria Avenue, Southend-on-Sea

William, a foster carer for Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, said: “Fostering gives you a purpose; all of a sudden you’ve got something that’s really worthwhile. It’s really good fun, always different, interesting and engaging. I’d say jump in both feet!”

For more information about fostering please visit our website, alternatively contact the team by email or telephone: 01702 212938. You can also visit the Southend-on-Sea Fostering Service Facebook page.