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Adoptive parents across the Black Country are being invited to register for a new Adopter Education Conference, to hear from an education expert on all things adoption in schools and share their own views and experiences. The free event, hosted by Adoption UK’s independent service, Adopter Voice in partnership with Adoption@Heart, takes place virtually next Friday 26 November, between 9.30am–1pm and will hear adopter’s views, voice and lived experiences.

It aims to educate and inform people on the process of modern adoption, with a rounded, honest, and inclusive portrayal of the journey – showcasing the highs and lows and championing the voices involved in the process that are often less heard.

These include adopted children, adopted adults, adoptive parents, birth parents, and the adoption and social care workforce that work tirelessly to get children into loving permanent homes. 

Fostering services across the country have joined together for the national release of a new short film commissioned by a collaboration of local councils and children’s trusts from all over England.

The unique film project, developed and funded by the West Midlands Regional Fostering Recruitment Forum and councils around the country, is aimed at helping to find more foster carers who can provide homes for the children and young people who need them.

UK Fostering has reaffirmed its status as one of Britain’s most reputable, trusted and successful fostering agencies after securing a rare clean sweep of ‘outstanding’ grades from The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted). 

The latest government reports show that UK Fostering is providing high-calibre services that far surpassed standards expected - ranking the independent organisation among the best of its kind in the country. 

Outcomes for children and young people in foster care in Wolverhampton have much improved over the last four years, thanks to a project that has helped transform the service.

The Family Values project started in May 2017 following a review of the City of Wolverhampton Council’s fostering service. It aimed to improve sufficiency and enable more children in care to be cared for by ‘in-house’ foster carers.

The project team has focused on increasing the recruitment of internal foster carers who foster for the council. This is reducing the need to use private external fostering agencies and enabling more children to live locally, letting them continue to go to school in the community they are already part of and to keep contact with their friends and their own family.

The project has also streamlined and reduced the time the process takes for approval of foster carers by two months, as well as offering much enhanced support and training for those foster carers already approved.

The overall number of children in internal fostering placements has, throughout the project, risen from 278 to 308. At the same time, the number of children in external agency fostering placements has reduced from 225 to 149, meaning over two thirds of children are now placed with internal foster carers.

High quality internal foster carers are improving outcomes for those children and young people who are fostered in Wolverhampton, by offering more stability and more positive long-term outcomes for children and young people in care. The short and long-term stability for children and young people in foster care in Wolverhampton is better than the national average for all other local authorities.

The work of the Family Values project has also made a significant contribution to council’s financial position, with an annual saving after costs in the region of £540,000 per annum. These savings have been reinvested into other areas of Children’s Services in Wolverhampton. 

Councillor Beverley Momenabadi, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “The Family Values project has been running for four years and has been a transformational success story for the service.

“Getting the best outcomes for children is at the heart of our work. Where children are in our care, we want them to live with local, high quality foster carers wherever possible, so they can benefit from the love and support that children experience when living with a family.

“It is really encouraging to see our transformational work deliver such important results for our children and I would like to thank everyone involved in Family Values and the wider fostering team for their hard work and positive contribution.” The Fostering for Wolverhampton team are currently recruiting for more foster carers.