DUDLEY Council has formed a new fostering partnership to help secure long term foster carers for children in care.

The council has teamed up with Staffordshire County Council, National Fostering Group and Big Issue Invest to form ‘The Big Fostering Partnership’.

The group will help find foster carers for children between the ages of seven and sixteen who are living in children’s homes.

Once a young person has been identified, the partnership will use its national network of carers to find potential foster families.

Catherine Driscoll, director of children’s services at Dudley Council, said: “Every child and young person in our care matters and we must do all we can to give them the very best opportunities in life. The best place they can be is within a loving and caring home, which is always our preferred option."

The Big Fostering Partnership is part funded by the Department of Culture, Media & Sport’s Life Chances Fund.

Catherine added: “We recognise some children and young people need very specialised care and the capacity to care for them within the foster care system is sometimes limited.

“I’m therefore really pleased we’ve got this opportunity to work with partners on this project to expand the support available.”

Although launching in the West Midlands, The Big Fostering Partnership is already in talks with other authorities from across the country who are interested in joining the partnership.

To find out more about becoming a foster carer for The Big Fostering Partnership please visit their website.