The Council has 91 foster carers on its rolls that can provide a safe and loving home for 146 children, whose own parents are unable to look after them for various reasons. At the time of the inspection a further 18 fostering applicants were in the process of being assessed.
Councillor Wyn Williams, Gwynedd Council’s Social Services Portfolio Leader, said: “The service provided by foster families is invaluable – without them many children would have to move to live many miles away from home, school and family causing a great deal of personal stress and a massive strain on public resources.
“Making sure that the right sort of families can become fosterers and are given plenty of support throughout the process is key to ensuring the system works and that children can lead happy and fulfilling lives whatever their personal backgrounds.”
The report notes that Gwynedd Council is shining in:
- Monitoring and supporting children and families throughout the fostering process
- Assessing applicants in situations where the extended family wishes to foster a child
- Service management
- Assessing fostering applicants
Since its last inspection in April 2011, Gwynedd Council’s fostering service has made several improvements, including:
- Initiatives to recruit foster carers
- Improved administration
- Improvement in the performance of statutory reviews within timescale
Councillor Williams added: “We are delighted that the government inspector noted that there were no areas in which the Council needs to improve as a priority. This has been the case for the last four years, which shows that Gwynedd is working well within government guidelines in this important and sensitive area.
“Of course this does not mean that we will be resting on our laurels. The service will be working hard to ensure further improvements.”
If you’d like more information about becoming a foster carer, contact Gwynedd Council’s fostering team on 01286 682660, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: www.gwynedd.gov.uk/fostering