Bournemouth is investing in improving the lives of looked after children by expanding its adoption and fostering services.

The council is growing its children’s social care services with the addition of a number of new social work posts for fostering, adoption, and child care social work. One of the key aims of the expanding service will be to recruit more adoptive parents and more foster carers from Bournemouth and the surrounding local areas to care for looked after children.

Gill Bishop, Service Manager for Bournemouth’s Children’s Social Care said, “We currently have 246 looked after children in Bournemouth. With this new recruitment drive, one of our key targets is to increase the number of foster carers in the town. By doing this we will be able to give more children high quality placements in the local area, providing stability and avoiding the disruption of having to move schools and lose friends.”

An investment is also being made to set up a small dedicated social care team responsible for looking after those children and young people who are privately fostered i.e. a child, under the age of 16 (or 18 if disabled) that stays with another adult who does not have parental responsibility for the child, is not a close relative and the arrangement is for more than 28 days. This includes the large number of language students in the borough living with host families. The new team’s job will be to ensure these children and young people are given suitable and safe placements.

Another two social work posts have been agreed by the council to make sure we can work closely with very young vulnerable children and their families, to take the right decisions for them as quickly and safely as we can. This may include assessing members of the child’s extended family or friendship group to act as Special Guardians for the child.

Councillor Nicola Greene, Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Services, added, “We are already doing excellent work with vulnerable children in Bournemouth and only recently our team was awarded ‘Adoption Service of the Year’ by the British Association of Adoption and Fostering.  With a bigger team of social workers we can build on this success and go even further to ensure that all our children have the chance to achieve the best possible outcomes in life.”

Qualified social workers interested in joining Bournemouth’s successful team should contact Gill Bishop on 01202 451712 or gill.bishop@bournemouth.gov.uk. Alternatively, please visit www.jobsatbournemouth.com to find out more about the new social care vacancies.

Anyone interested in becoming a foster carer for Bournemouth should contact the Fostering and Placements Team on 01202 456789.

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