Wokingham Borough Council is implementing a scheme meaning foster carers will no longer have to pay council tax as part of a range of benefits and incentives.
With carers in Wokingham Borough nearly full to capacity, the search is on to find 10 more local family homes for the growing number of children in care who want to be fostered close to their families and friends.
In recognition of the urgent need for more Wokingham Borough fosters carers, the council is offering additional financial assistance in the form of council tax exemption.
Finding local children local homes
Cllr Charlotte Haitham Taylor, leader of the council, said: “As a foster carer, you would be working in a small, friendly and supportive fostering team. We seek to ensure that our children are always found homes with our own foster carers first. You could join the team if you have a spare room and could provide a secure, happy family environment. We want to avoid having to find homes for our children far from our borough.”
With the annual national Foster Care Fortnight™ (14 to 27 May) about to start, the borough council wants to reach out to would-be foster carers for teenagers, siblings, and asylum seeking and disabled children who desperately need foster carers in the borough.
Join our drop-in information day
A drop-in information day is due to be held on Thursday 24 May at the Diamond Jubilee Room in Wokingham Town Hall, when foster carers will share their experiences and discuss the positive life changes created for the children and young people involved. People can drop-in anytime between 1pm and 7.45pm.
Foster carer, Emma Taylor, is proud to foster. She said: “Becoming a foster carer has been so rewarding - it can be hard but just knowing that you've made a difference makes it worthwhile and there's plenty of support available.”
Cllr Charlotte Haitham Taylor added: “We’re delighted and proud to be thanking our foster carers by giving them council tax exemption. With this new additional financial assistance, we would like to encourage more local residents to come forward and find out about fostering with us at the council.”
Regardless of age, culture, background, sexual orientation and whether you are a home-owner or tenant, if you have a spare room, live within twenty miles of the borough and have time for a child, you could foster. What matters most, is that you’re the right family or person for our children.
As a foster carer, the council offers attractive remuneration packages, excellent training including a specialist therapeutic programme, as well as one-to-one and out-of-hours support. Fees increase with experience often resulting in the equivalent of a reasonable salary, which could provide a complete change of career. For example, an experienced foster carer at Level 2, who cares for two children all year, could earn more than £25,000 p.a. excluding allowances for the child.
The application process is also probably much quicker than you think. To find out more, call (0118) 974 6204 for an informal chat or visit our fostering website.