Havering Council has unveiled a new package of benefits to encourage more people to consider becoming a foster carer.
The package, announced at the Council’s cabinet meeting on July 7, that will step up the support given to foster carers in a bid to recruit more people to look after the borough’s most vulnerable children.
The increased support means existing in-house and new foster carers living in the borough will:
• Receive more financial support
• A council tax exemption
• Complimentary access to the borough’s leisure centres for the borough’s carers and the children in their care
• Free green bin collections
• Free car parking in a selection of parking spaces
• More training and additional round-the-clock support
The new, increased benefits are part of a plan to make fostering more appealing, while increasing the quality and number of people coming forward to foster for the Council.
It will also help to reduce the costs spent on using outside agencies to find carers that could come directly to the Council.
Councillor Robert Benham, Havering’s Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Families, said:
“Foster carers play a vital role in our borough, but there is a desperate shortage of people coming forward to look after children in care.
“We’ve come up with a creative package of additional benefits which will place Havering in a more competitive position with other boroughs and agencies and make fostering for the borough more appealing.
“We hope it will result in more people putting themselves forward to offer even greater care for children in care.”
Andy Clark, Chair of The Havering Foster Carer’s Association, said:
“This will enable more children to remain in care in the borough with far more positive outcomes.
“This package will not only help us retain the fantastic carers we already have but also ensure that we can recruit both new and experienced carers, which is so vitally important.
“It will also make Havering the first choice for anyone wishing to become foster carers for the first time and for already experienced carers to join our fostering family”.
For more information about becoming a foster carer visit www.havering.gov.uk/fostering