Fostering recruitment continues despite COVID-19

Wokingham Borough Council continues to recruit high quality foster carers despite the difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Cllr UllaKarin Clark, executive member for children’s services, said: “This time of year often sees a period of change for families, with children moving away, but you can use this as an opportunity to provide a happy home for another young person.

“All you need is a spare bedroom, be aged 21 or over with appropriate life experience and the time and capacity to look after a child. 

“We already have more than 50 foster carers in our borough but we need more to help ensure we can keep children from our borough, in our care, close to their families.”

We’ve switched our in-person recruitment stands for online recruitment events as we continue to look for happy homes in or near the borough for young people in care.

Our next virtual recruitment event is on Wednesday, 16 September, from 6pm to 7.30pm where you’ll be able to speak with our fostering team as well as carers who already work with us to provide happy homes in the borough.

With many families seeing their children heading off to university in September or young people flying the nest this autumn, it presents the perfect chance to make use of the room for a foster child. 

Spare bedroom needed

A spare bedroom all year round is one of the key requirements for someone who wants to put themselves forward to possibly be the right family for one of our children.

Help and support

As well as a chance to make a difference with a young person in need, fostering through the council offers an attractive remuneration package, council tax exemption, excellent training including a specialist therapeutic programme, as well as one-to-one and out-of-hours support.

Fees increase with experience often resulting in the equivalent of a good salary, which could allow a complete change of career. 

For example, an experienced foster carer at Level 2, who cares for two children all year, could earn more than £25,000 p.a. excluding generous allowances for the child.

The council has almost 50 fostering homes in the borough already but is always looking for more. The more foster homes the council has available, the more able it will be to help young people in its care find a family home.

How recruitment works during COVID-19

The recruitment process remains unchanged, but certain elements of the training take place digitally and extra distancing precautions are in place when face-to-face meetings take place.

These steps, which can take around six months to complete, though we will accelerate appropriate applications, are:

  • Enquiry
  • Home visit
  • Preparation training
  • Assessment
  • Fostering panel and approval
  • Foster a child

If you’re interested in getting started on your fostering journey, contact Jackie Ross in the fostering team on (0118) 974 6204, email fostering@wokingham.gov.uk, visit ‘Wokingham Fostering’ Facebook or go to the Wokingham Borough fostering website.