My name is Dan, I am the current fostering manager at Local Solutions. I’m from Liverpool, I’ve always lived here and went to university here. I’ve have been a social worker for many years, working in various areas of children and young people’s services. Throughout my career I have always had a keen interest in the fostering aspects of my role as a Social Worker and felt that I could make real contributions to improving outcomes for children who enter the care system, I am now developing a new and exciting fostering service with Local Solutions with the aim of changing how the foster care system works and improving outcomes for local children and young people.
Local Solutions Fostering will be a brand new service for Local Solutions, however the organisation has been working with children and young people for 45 years, so I am confident that we are up to the task of setting up a quality fostering service given the expertise I’m surrounded by.
Within the service we will be bringing together the expertise and support of the other projects Local Solutions runs to provide a quality service that produces - not only excellent outcomes for the young people in need of support, but also a higher standard of support for the foster carers working as part of our team.
An exciting aspect of this new fostering service will be that it is run for the local area for local children, by a not-for-profit organisation. Whilst the main aim of the service is to support young people in care to get the best outcomes, the service also has the potential to provide funding for the other local projects that Local Solutions runs, reinvesting into our communities. We think that this local element of not only support, but leadership will really set us apart from other agencies that are delivered nationally and run from another part of the country.
Another key ingredient that will set us apart is the work that Local Solutions is already doing. Local Solutions already has well established projects working with care leavers like the Resettlement Passport, AIMS, Sports Horizons, Supported Lodgings and the Young Person’s Hub which all provide young people with the skills and opportunity they need to succeed and live independently. Too often children who enter the care system achieve poorer outcomes than children who are not in the care system. We believe this collaboration of in-house services will help provide more positive outcomes for young people in our services.
Beyond the skills and support that Local Solutions has in supporting young people, we also have an in-house training team, anti-bullying initiative – Bullybusters and a wealth of experience working with people caring for others in our Carers Centre. I believe the systems and experience that are already present within the organisation will set our service apart from the rest as we will provide a better package of support for foster carers and young people alike, all from in-house services.
When it comes to recruiting foster carers, there are a lot of misconceptions that people have about fostering that can be a barrier. Specifically, people can have ideas about the type of people we are looking for. The reality is, we are looking for people who are empathetic, compassionate, and have a passion for changing people’s lives for the better. We are looking for people from various backgrounds who are willing to give something back to children who need support, guidance, stability and safety in their life. Any skills that you’ll need to foster will be covered in training that we provide. Our foster carers will have access to 24-hour support, ongoing training, support and access to the experience that Local Solutions has in working with young people from a variety of backgrounds.
Currently we are in the initial set-up phase of this new service, we are hopeful to have the service ready to start looking after children in our area by mid 2020.
If you are interested in finding out more about our upcoming service, you can fill out the contact form below and we’ll get in touch with more information and keep you updated about our progress.