Welcome to another week.
The government has unveiled plans to offer carers more support when looking after fostered children, while also preserving ties with birth families and their children after they have entered the care system.
According to the press release, the initiative aims to offer carers, “short breaks, mentoring, emergency sleepovers and social activities with other families to help create stability as they adjust to their new lives together.”
The support package has been inspired by The ‘Mockingbird Family Model’, which will be delivered by The Fostering Network and builds on an already invested £500,000 for support services for foster carers by the government. It is not clear how much extra money the government has injected into the original investment sum to provide these services.
The Model is explained on the Fostering Network’s website as an “extended family model which… improves the stability of fostering placements and strengthens the relationships between carers, children and young people, fostering services and birth families.”
The Network’s website also includes evaluation reports and plans for the model’s roll-out across the country.
In addition to this initiative, the Department for Education said it would allocate £84 million to new projects in 18 council areas which would “support vulnerable children coping with chaotic home lives as a result of their parents’ problems with mental health, domestic violence or addiction.” And, that the projects would “reaffirm the core principle of the Children Act 1989 that where possible, children are best brought up with their parents.”
No further details about how the Department intends to achieve this are included in the statement.