Fostering and football a winning combination at Roots Hall

Football fans arriving at Roots Hall for the last home game of the season got facts about fostering as well as a win for the Shrimpers.

Families who already foster and social workers from Southend-on-Sea City Council’s fostering team were on hand to spread the word of the council’s desire to recruit more foster carers, answer questions and dispel myths about fostering.

Southend United Football Club (SUFC) offered to support the fostering team, who are busy trying to recruit extra foster carers to help keep local children who need support, in their own City.

Foster carer ambassador, Tina, said: “It was a lovely sunny day on Saturday 29 April and there was a fantastic optimistic atmosphere ahead of the last game of the season. Lots of people took the time to stop and ask questions and speak with us and we had some really great conversations.

“Fostering and helping a child when they desperately need the love and support of a family, is such a wonderful thing to be able to do. It has its challenges, but we really are a supportive community and will do everything we can to welcome, support and advise.”

The team were also highlighting the additional benefits recently launched, as part of our financial commitment to support our foster carers.

This includes:

  • for eligible in-house foster carers, 100% council tax discount for houses up to a band D who live in and outside of our City
  • increasing the weekly allowance for all foster carers by 10%
  • simplifying fees into three categories: foster care, enhanced foster care and specialist foster care
  • plus additional financial support during key moments in the child’s life, such as birthdays, prom etc

Cllr Laurie Burton, cabinet member for children and learning, said: “Southend-on-Sea City would benefit to recruit more foster carers to look after our children in our care. In most cases, where it is deemed safe, it is better for the children to stay close to their family, friends and in the same school, while going through a challenging personal time, so local carers can add significant value to children’s lives.

“I’m very grateful to SUFC for their support and allowing us to host an engagement event at the game on Saturday - it was even better that Southend won! Go on the Blues!”

April Smith, match day and community liaison officer at SUFC, said: ‘Relationships like ours are important for the city, being able to support the Fostering Team and their ambassadors on a match day. It gives them a great platform and hopefully this will help recruit even more amazing foster carers."

You can find out more about fostering for Southend-on-Sea City Council on our Fostering website.

Photos can be found on our Flickr page.

Published: 12th May 2023

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