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More foster carers are needed in the area

Created on 29/09/2018 @ 09:10
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By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

More resources will be used to target recruiting foster carers in the Newtown area and other parts of the county where the numbers are low at the moment.

Work undertaken as part of the draft Children Looked After Strategic Framework shows a data analysis of where the numbers of foster carers and children in care have been spread across Powys.

According to children’s services improvement consultant Barry Kirwan, understanding the demographics of the county helps identify where more Foster Carers are needed.

One of the strategic aims of the framework is to “provide and commission a flexible and affordable mix of high quality placements for children who are looked after to meet the diverse range of their needs and circumstances.”

But according to the data, the number of children who have experienced three or more moves in a year has increased – this has led to a recruitment drive to find more foster carers.

Cllr Daniel Rowlands (Newtown Llanllwchaiarn North) looked at the figures and said that there was a “massive need for more foster carers”.

“Looking at my area (North Central Powys) there’s 61 looked after children from the Newtown, Llanfair Caereinion and Llanidloes area.

“But there are only 20 children  placed in the area and six generic foster carers.

“Looking at Mid-West Powys (Llandrindod Wells, Rhayader, Builth Wells, Llanwrtyd Wells) fostering is really working very well in this area with 44 children looked after from the area, 46 children placed there and 32 generic foster homes.

“They’re doing well there.

“Obviously I’m looking at where I’m from, and there’s a massive need for more foster carers, is this achievable in the next five years?”

Barry Kirwan said: “We need to have aspirations, which is what this framework is.

“We now understand our demographic. Our starting point comes from understanding where we are and what we’ve got," he said.

“And where we need to target in future. I’m not sure this was the case six months or a year ago. This has been really helpful for understanding the landscape and where we need to put resources in.

“Newtown is a busy area for us, we understand it now which is good.”

Committee chairman, Gwilym Williams, added: “Now you’ve got this grasp, you will concentrate on improving it in the future.”

The Framework appendices show that in:

North Central Powys: Newtown, Llanfair Caereinion and Llanidloes

There are six generic foster carers

20 looked after placed in the area

61 looked after children from the area

North East Powys: Llanfyllin, Welshpool

There are six generic foster carers

15 looked after placed in the area

48 looked after children from the area

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