Rational of the project
Foster care over the years has been of great importance to the society in general as it provides a home for many who may be seen not to have stable homes. Foster care basically describes when a child is looked after and lives with a family that is not their own(Accinelli, 2008). There are different reasons as to why a child may be put into foster care and this includes illness of the parents, alcoholism and addiction of the parents, imprisonment of the parents, and the child may be exposed to violence in their own home. There has been increased demand for foster care and this has resulted to shortage of fostercares thereby necessitating for there to be a relevant solution(Brown, 2009). The solution that has been identified for the shortage of workforce as far as foster care is concerned is the usage of volunteer teams to provide support.
The project is set to identify how the gap between demand and supply of foster care services can be bridged. Recent trends with regards to foster care services have necessitated the identification of a possible solution that would ensure that demand and supply of foster care services are at equilibrium to some extent. Demand has been way high and this is attributed to different factors and it is therefore necessary to ensure that supply of foster care services is also increased without affecting the quality of the service provided.
The project in general aims at the provision of high quality foster care service so as to obtain the best possible outcome for young people and children who are looked after by Calderdale Council.
- To develop foster homes that have the capability of responding to the behavioral and emotional needs of children who have been neglected and abused.
- To ensure that those under foster care are provided with support, education, and therapeutic services.
- To ensure that those under the care are securely attached to carers who are able to provide effective and safe care.
- To ensure that children and young people are protected from physical, emotional, and sexual abuse as well as neglect.
- To ensure that all the foster carers undergo appropriate training and support so that they can be able to deliver high quality foster care.
As stated earlier, there has been an increase in the demand for foster care and supply has been evident to be minimal as the number of foster cares is minimal as compared to the number of individuals who are in need of the foster care services. The Foster Care Associates has already raised the issue of a fostering crisis(Goodyer, 2011). As of now, the Calderdale Council is looking after approximately 300 to 315 children. Owing to these numbers, there is great need to have volunteer foster carers so as to be able to meet the high demand that has been arising over the years. According to reports, the number of children in foster care has continued to rise since 2016. Findings by the Department of Education suggests that out of the 70,440 children who are being looked after, 51,850 are cared in foster placements thereby making it necessary to have more foster families(Kate Wilson, 2004). The best way in which a fostering crisis may be averted is through volunteer foster carers. Volunteering is usually an act where one is willing to do something for another person for the betterment of the society as a whole. This would be vital as far as foster care is concerned. Volunteers for foster care are taken for training so that they can be able to provide quality services. The training and support opportunities provided include a Foster Care Practice Forum, buddying and an active Foster Care Association. Support is given by a social worker from Fostering Team as well as from the child’s Social Worker. As such, the above stated solution would be key towards meeting the high demand for foster care services that has been increasing over time.
Aims and Objectives
Having volunteers for foster care would be of great benefit for Calderdale Council as this would see a rise in the number of children that can be supported by Calderdale. As earlier pointed out, Calderdale only supports approximately 315 children. This number can be seen to be too low owing to the high demand of foster care services. Recruitment of volunteers as Foster Carers would see an increase in number of children being supported by Calderdale thereby reducing the gap that is in existence. It is also important to point out the fact that Calderdale Council is not discriminative as far as its recruitment of foster carers is concerned. This gives the counsel an upper hand due to the fact that any volunteer can be signed up as a foster carer irrespective of their cultural, racial, religious and linguistic backgrounds. Having the non-discrimination rule in place would ensure that number of foster carers goes up and as such number of children supported also increases.
The solution has a number of limitations owing to the fact that procedures involved may be time consuming and also lengthy to some extent. Having volunteers being registered as foster carers is a long process in itself from recruitment to follow up programs(Johnson, 2018). The recruitment process is lengthy thereby time consuming. Recruitment starts with enquiries to the Calderdale Fostering Service. This is then followed with visitation within five working days. Applicants are then undertaken through the Skills to Foster course before approval. Background checks also have to be done and DBS checks on other members of the household that are above 18 years. Applicants are then allocated a social worker who assesse them in accordance with Fostering Service Regulations. The process continues until approval of an applicant as a foster carer. Volunteering as a solution can therefore be seen to have its own limitations especially with regards to the whole recruitment process. It is obvious that the number of volunteers may be high thereby making the whole process more cumbersome and difficult to some point.
Austerity refers to policies that the government puts in place so as to reduce its budget deficits through tax increments, spending cuts, or a combination of the two(Domingos, 2014). The best solution for austerity government is the extension of eligibility age for retirement and health care benefits(Rao, 2014).
Increasing the age at which retirement and healthcare benefits are given would reduce deficits due to the fact that individuals would start earning benefits much later as compared to initially. This would save the government money to some extent as it would cut benefits that were to be given to individuals throughout the number of years that the extension is made.
Reducing government deficits through the above identified solution would simply mean that the government would in general have funds to support its activities including funding that is given tout for supporting sectors that are of importance to the economy inclusive of the health sector. This means that Calderdale Council would receive enough funds that would be able to support its fostering activities.
Even though the above named solution is seen to bring the desired outcomes, it also comes with its own limitations. This solution is seen to be viable in times when the country is experiencing growth in GDP. In times of recession, the solution may be seen to be self-defeating resulting to slower economic growth.
Accinelli, T. (2008). My Lifebook Journal: A Workbook for Children in Foster Care. Oakland: New Harmbinger Publications.
Brown, K. E. (2009). Foster Care: State Practices for Assessing Health Needs Facilitating Service Delivery, and Monitoring Childrens Care. New York: DIANE Publishing.
Domingos, S. (2014). The Impact of Austerity Measures on People and Local Government. New York: AuthorHouse.
Goodyer, A. (2011). Child-Centred Foster Care: A Rights-Based Model for Practice. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Johnson, J. (2018). Reframing Foster Care: Filtering Your Foster Parenting Journey Through the Lens of the Gospel. New Jersey: Credo House Publishers.
Kate Wilson, . S. (2004). Foster Carers: Why They Stay and Why They Leave. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
National Foster Parent Association, . G. (2009). Success as a Foster Parent: Everything You Need to Know about Foster Care. London: Sage Publishers.
Nelson, C. (2003). Little Strangers: Portrayals of Adoption and Foster Care in America. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Nelson, J. (2005). Kids Need to Be Safe: A Book for Children in Foster Care. London: Free Spirit Publishing.
Rao, P. (2014). Government Austerity and Socioeconomic Sustainability. London: Springer.