Agencies struggling to meet demands

More than a quarter of foster agencies in England have too few staff or carers and many are failing to address the problem, according to inspectors.

Agencies are also struggling to meet performance standards on matching children with carers, a Commission for Social Care Inspection report found.

Just over half of council services and 60 per cent of independent agencies met the “matching” standard. The report said agencies might be applying “too rigid rules of thumb” when finding carers from the same background as children.

The study found 13 per cent of children in foster care faced three or more moves in 2004-5. But overall the performance of foster agencies had improved since 2002.

Meanwhile, a Fostering Network study published this week found just under half of fostering services had no post dedicated to carer recruitment and more than a quarter had no recruitment target.

The Right People for Me – Helping Children Do Well in Long-Term Foster Care from
Improving Effectiveness in Foster Care Recruitment

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