Local authority fostering partnership launched

escc logoFAMILIES in East Sussex considering fostering with their local authority will now be supported by a newly created regional hub.

Launching today (Monday, July 8), Local Authority Fostering South East is a new virtual fostering hub bringing together the expertise of 20 councils from across the region.

East Sussex County Council has joined other councils from across the South East to create the country’s largest local authority fostering partnership, in a bid to increase the number of foster carers across the region.

The new hub will ensure prospective foster carers have access to a centralised platform for enquiries, working collaboratively to provide the best support, right from the start of a carer’s fostering journey.

Funded by the Department for Education, Local Authority Fostering South East is the largest of nine regions taking part in the pilot programme.

With over 11,000 children in care across the South East, and fewer than 3,000 local authority approved foster carers, there is an urgent need to recruit more people able to provide safe, loving, and local homes for vulnerable children.

Cllr Bob Bowdler, lead member for Children and Families at East Sussex County Council, said: “Sadly we always have children in need of care, and they deserve the same opportunities as every other child.

“I urge any residents who may have thought about fostering to contact the regional hub team to find out more about fostering with their local authority, and the positive impact they can have on young lives.”

The new regional hub is also launching a marketing campaign to raise awareness of this unique role and encourage more people to take the next step and become a foster carer with their local council.

Local authority foster carers benefit from comprehensive local training, generous financial assistance, and ongoing support from a non-profit organisation.

Natasha Sampson, South East Regional Strategic Lead, said: “This is a really exciting time for fostering. For the first time in the South East, we are leveraging the collective skills, knowledge, resources and support of 20 local authorities to ensure children and young people have a stable home, in a loving family, which they all deserve.

“The new hub will make this possible by increasing the number of local foster carers and making sure they are well supported through their recruitment journey and beyond.

“I would urge anyone interested in fostering to get in touch with us and find out more about becoming a foster carer with your local authority.”

Prospective foster carers will also benefit from a new fostering ambassador scheme, which enables those considering fostering to speak to an existing carer to find out what this life-changing role is really like.

More information on becoming a foster carer can be found on Local Authority Fostering South East’s new website, www.lafosteringse.org.uk, and its social media channels: Facebook Fostering South East www.facebook.com/people/Fostering-South-East, X (formally Twitter) @LA_Fostering_SE www.x.com/la_fostering_se, and Instagram LA_Fostering_SE www.instagram.com/la_fostering_se.

Those interested in fostering can also contact the regional hub directly to speak to a member of the recruitment team by calling 0300 131 2797.