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Peterborough City Council’s fostering and adoption services will be run from the beginning of April by TACT (The Adolescent and Children’s Trust) – the UK’s largest dedicated fostering and adoption charity.
TACT will manage all the council’s fostering, special guardianship order, adoption and kinship placement services.
The new TACT Peterborough Permanency service will reduce reliance on higher cost independent fostering and residential placements as well as provide improved training and 24/7 support for Peterborough foster carers.
Andy Elvin, the chief executive officer of The Adolescent and Children’s Trust, said: “We are delighted to begin running fostering and adoption services across Peterborough.
“One of our priorities will be to recruit more much needed foster carers, particularly for teenagers and sibling groups, from across the city and surrounding areas. We are focussed on making a flying start and have already had lots of enquiries from prospective foster carers.”
If you are interested in fostering there are very few restrictions; all that is needed is that you have space in your home and space in your heart. In return, TACT will provide lots of support, training and the right conditions to enable you to provide a safe and nurturing home for children and young people.
One of TACT’s existing Peterborough based foster carers Mary Bakker can testify to the excellent support she and her husband Paul have had from the charity.
Mary said: “TACT has been marvellous for us as experienced foster carers living in the city, and we are confident that Peterborough’s foster carers will quickly feel at home with the high levels of commitment, training and support that TACT— as the UK’s biggest fostering charity — offers all its carers.”
TACT will also be seeking to improve support for family members caring for nieces, nephews and grandchildren through Special Guardianship Orders (SGOs).
Andy Elvin added: “TACT recognise the selfless and invaluable role relatives play in caring for children who cannot remain with their birth parents. We will be working with families to ensure that relatives can access the same types of training and support enjoyed by foster carers and adopters.”
Councillor Sam Smith, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “The TACT Peterborough Permanency Service will enable us to recruit and retain more local foster carers through an improved support network the partnership will deliver. This will lead to more local longer-term foster placements for Peterborough children and young people.
“Ultimately we want to find looked after children a permanent home, either through foster care or adoption, as soon as possible and for them to spend less time in short-term care.
“The partnership is the first of its kind in the country and will secure good fostering and adoption services in Peterborough as council budgets are further reduced.”
Staff working as part of the Permanency Service will be based at city council offices and overseen by a joint board including senior council officers.
Current city council staff working in fostering and adoption are being transferred to work for TACT.
To find out more about fostering and adoption in the city you can call 0330 123 2250 or visit www.tactcare.org.uk/peterborough