Posted: Sun 13th Aug 2023

Welsh Government takes step to eradicate profits in child care

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Sunday, Aug 13th, 2023


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In a move towards bettering child care, the Welsh Government is planning to remove all profit from the care of looked-after children by 2027.

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.

The plans commit to making public sector, charitable, or not-for-profit organisations the sole providers of care for looked-after children in Wales.

Foster Wales, the network representing Wales’ 22 local authorities, is urging more individuals to join their ranks as local authority foster carers. This call also extends to those currently fostering with for-profit agencies to switch to their local authority team.

Alastair Cope, Head of Foster Wales, emphasized the importance of this change:

“These changes represent a huge opportunity to make a long-lasting, positive change to social care provision in Wales – benefiting looked-after young people today and in the future.”

Local authority foster care comes with a plethora of benefits. These include support from a locally based expert team, extensive learning opportunities, a generous allowance, and connection to a community of other carers.

One key aspect is that it allows children to stay within their local community. As Mr. Cope noted, “We know that when children stay connected, stay local, and have someone to stick by them for the long term, we see better outcomes.”

Recent statistics reveal a stark contrast between private and local authority fostering. A staggering 79% of children cared for by private agencies in Wales are fostered outside their local area, with 6% moved out of Wales entirely. In comparison, 84% of those with local authority carers stay close to home.

Foster carers like Jo, who made the switch to local authority care, have seen the difference firsthand:

“Now that I foster with a local authority, the young people stay local. This means they stay connected to their roots, which helps them feel secure, and it’s more natural for visits, access and family time.”

Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan, proudly stated:

“Wales is leading the way with its plans to eliminate profit from the care of looked-after children, and we’re proud to be making this a priority to help create better outcomes for children.”

This move aligns with a global trend towards prioritizing the welfare of children over profit. It also promises a future where looked-after children in Wales can live “a happy and safe life, just like [they] dreamed about.”

For those interested in being a part of this pivotal change and for more information on fostering, visit Foster Wales.

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