A new council contract with a leading children’s charity aims to promote fostering in Croydon and safeguard its future, ensuring that all children and young people are offered high-quality care in safe, secure and happy homes.
From 1 November, Croydon Council has entered into a two-year agreement with specialist providers Coram for them to recruit foster carers for the council.
Under the terms of the contract, Coram will assist the council in developing its own foster care recruitment service. The council’s aim is that when the contract with Coram ends, this function can be brought back in-house, giving the council greater control over the quality of care.
Croydon Council cares for a number of children and young people many of whom go onto achieve greatly through career paths, and held a very successful Star Awards ceremony for them last month to celebrate their many gifts and talents.
The council has 237 foster carer households providing in-house foster placements, while the remaining looked after children are placed in other settings, including independent foster carers sourced through independent agencies. Meanwhile demand for foster carers is increasing in Croydon, with a need for additional 200 places over the last three years.
The council’s new recruitment service provider, Coram is the UK’s oldest children’s charity, supporting children to have the best possible chance in life since 1739.
It supports children and young people from their earliest days to independence, creating a change that lasts a lifetime. It aims to build their confidence; develop skills; uphold their rights; and it supports practitioners in the areas of fostering and adoption.
Coram works as group of organisations to change lives today and create solutions for tomorrow. During 2017-18, the Coram group worked directly with more than 100,000 children, families and professionals and benefitted more than one million others through specialist information and advice.
“Our fostering service is a huge priority for us as an administration; these placements ensure that some of our most vulnerable young people are cared for in safe and happy homes. We are fortunate to have hundreds of excellent foster carers offering homes to children and young people, both through in-house placements and through agencies, making an incredible difference to their lives every day.
“However, we want to ensure that we can meet demand for foster carers now and in years to come, and to do all we can to ensure that all our children and young people are offered the very best quality care. Our vision is to retain one of London’s largest and most successful fostering services, within the council, and we are delighted to be working with Coram, who are specialist providers and leaders in the field.”
Councillor Alisa Flemming, cabinet member for children, young people and learning
Renuka Jeyarajah-Dent, Director of Operations at Coram, said: “We are delighted that Coram-i, led by its MD Kevin Yong, has been awarded this contract, which is aimed at giving children who cannot live at home the chance to experience the love, warmth and care of a family. We look forward to working in partnership with Croydon to assist them in bringing the service back into the council and redesign it to improve the outcomes for children in their care while ensuring value for money and crucially, high quality provision for children.”
Coram will be launching a new foster care recruitment campaign at the start of 2019.
Foster carers make a real difference to children and young people’s lives. They are offered extensive training and support through the council’s foster care team, and an allowance. For more information on becoming a foster carer in Croydon, visit www.croydon.gov.uk