As Welsh Government moves ahead with plans to remove profit from the care of looked-after children, Foster Wales Wrexham highlights the benefits of fostering with a local authority.
Wales is in the process of a whole system change for children’s services.
The changes proposed in the 2021 co-operation agreement between Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru prioritise services that are locally based, locally designed, and locally accountable.
Within these plans there is a clear commitment to ‘eliminate private profit from the care of looked after children.’ This means, by 2027, care of children that are looked after in Wales will be provided by public sector, charitable or not-for-profit organisations.
In light of these changes, Foster Wales Wrexham – which is part of the network representing Wales’ 22 local authorities – are calling for more people to become local authority foster carers and encouraging those currently fostering with a for-profit agency to transfer over to their local authority team.
Cllr Robert Walsh, lead member for children’s services, said:
“Being a foster carer with Wrexham Council offers the opportunity to make a long-lasting and positive change to the care of our young people, benefiting them today and in the future.
“There are many benefits to carers, including support and training, giving young people the option to stay in their local area. Local communities are key to making this change happen so please contact our fostering team if you are interested.”
In Wales, 79% of children cared for by private fostering agencies are fostered outside their local area, and 6% are moved out of Wales entirely. Meanwhile, 84% of those living with local authority foster carers stay within their own local area, close to home, to school, to family and friends.
Local foster carers Cath and Neil made the switch from an independent fostering agency to foster with their local authority, Foster Wales Wrexham, in 2018.
“It’s so important that children stay in their local areas, so they’re close to their friends and their school. When we were fostering with an agency, children were often moved around a lot from carer to carer, sometimes far away from their roots.”
“Now, the children we look after keep in touch with their friends and relatives, and that’s vital.”
For more information about fostering, and how to transfer, visit Foster Wales or email firstname.lastname@example.org.