At the Full Council meeting held yesterday (Tuesday 21 February), councillors agreed to apply a 100 per cent council tax discount, as well as increasing fostering allowance payments for all its in-house foster carers in the new financial year.
The increased fostering allowance payments and council tax exemption will be offered to both existing and future fostering households.
The council hopes that these measures will support the retention of existing foster carers while boosting the number of much-needed foster families in North Somerset. This will support more children and young people to be cared for by families within their local communities.
Councillor Catherine Gibbons, North Somerset Council’s executive member for children’s services, said: “There’s a national shortage of foster carers. We’re therefore looking to develop and invest in our own in-house provision to increase local foster homes and allow a greater number of children in care to maintain such valuable links to their local networks, family, friends and communities.
“Stable foster homes are known to provide the best experience for children in care. Making our in-house service offer more attractive to carers will help give children better outcomes. I’m absolutely delighted that we’ve been able to make this happen, even with the current financial challenges that we’re facing as a council.
"If you’re interested in becoming a foster carer to help a child reach their life goals, I encourage you to please step forward. We welcome people from all backgrounds, of all different ages, genders, ethnicities, no matter your relationship status or sexual orientation.”
Those interested in finding out more about becoming a foster carer should email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 01275 888 999 or visit www.n-somerset.gov.uk/fostering.