Foster carer recruitment needs fresh thinking; a truly innovative approach. Foster carers are getting older and young people leave their care later in life. But the future wellbeing of looked-after children relies on there being a choice of high-quality, local and diverse foster placements.
And that’s where we hope you come in.
Norfolk County Council is out to fix this national challenge. We’ve created new roles dedicated to meeting the number one challenge of rapidly increasing foster carer recruitment. Our transformation team have the vision, drive and entrepreneurial spirit needed to create a new and more diverse generation of foster carers to add to our already skilled cohort.
At the heart of this outward-facing and forward-thinking vision will be the service development team manager and marketing manager we are now recruiting for.
Make your mark
Together you will devise new ways to attract the quality foster carers our children so desperately need and oversee their recruitment into Norfolk’s bank of foster carers.
The team manager, who will be an experienced social worker, will be responsible for creating and supervising a county wide network of foster care champions who will help to raise awareness and sell the benefits of being foster carers.
You will also work with existing managers to supervise the recruitment and assessment processes of the foster carers we attract.
“This team is a real opportunity to make your mark,” says Peter Ronan, head of Norfolk’s fostering service. “In these roles you will drive and shape innovative practice in foster carer recruitment. This is a national challenge but here – as part of this team – you will be in a position to buck the national trend and make a real difference.”
Behind you, you will also have a top-quality fostering service that Ofsted recently described as “well resourced and managed” – a service that is committed to supporting foster carers and is ready to dismantle the unnecessary barriers that deter them.
“An example is Fostering Friends, a closed Facebook page our foster carers created so they could support each other,” says Peter. “Initially the page was in breach of all our online policies – as it would be in most councils. So we rewrote our policies.
“Another example is that when we have a placement in crisis, our social workers are empowered to commission services into that family as required. We are a service that wants to delegate down, not micromanage every decision.”
As part of the transformation team you will work alongside the existing ‘business as usual’ fostering recruitment team but will have your own targets and marketing budget.
“Our desire with these roles is to extend the reach of our foster recruitment campaigns and go beyond what we’ve done before by creating a ‘team’ that can pioneer new approaches and think differently,” says Phil Watson, assistant director for social work at Norfolk.
That includes attracting foster carers from more diverse backgrounds. “People sometimes think the population of Norfolk is homogenous but that’s an outdated perception,” says Phil. “There is a large Ghanaian and Nigerian population now and an established Portuguese community, for example.
“The demographics of Norfolk have and are changing and with that we need a more diverse foster carer population for the children in our care.”
Great career move
Meeting the number one challenge in foster care recruitment isn’t going to easy, says Peter. But with the freedom to act and support to succeed behind you, it is a challenge that can be overcome.
“This is a team that can make a huge difference to lives the countless young people – young people who may otherwise end up in residential care,” says Peter. “It’s a great career move too – the social worker and marketing manager who crack this challenge will be setting themselves up for a very bright career.”
Read more about being a Norfolk County Council social worker