18 February 2020
The Government has launched a recruitment campaign to find Islanders interested in becoming foster carers to children with complex needs who require specialist care.
Intensive foster carers will provide family-based placements in Jersey as a direct alternative to placing children and young people in residential homes or in specialist facilities off-Island. The aim is to keep Jersey children in the Island, if this is in their best interest.
Given the complex needs of a child or young person who will require intensive fostering, successful applicants will not be able to undertake other employment for the duration of their role. They will, therefore, be paid £40,000 a year, as well as receiving maintenance allowances, travel expenses and any necessary equipment.
Prospective intensive foster carers will undergo assessment and will undertake comprehensive training so they can effectively support the emotional, psychological and social development of the child in their care. They will also have regular contact with and support from a dedicated support social worker and access to specialist support groups.
The Children’s Minister, Senator Sam Mézec, said: “Current foster carers in Jersey provide invaluable care to our looked-after children. But we have been unable to provide enough foster homes for some children and young people with exceptionally complex needs who require therapeutic care off-Island, which can cost more than £200,000 a year for each child. We would like people from all cultural backgrounds and ethnicities to consider a career as an intensive foster carer, so that children and young people can be matched with carers who they can identify with.
“Intensive fostering is a specialist fostering service for children and young people who need to live in a nurturing family environment with foster carers who have the knowledge, understanding and skills to care for and support them until they can return home, live independently or access other family settings provided by Children’s Services.”
Intensive foster carers will receive 28 days’ holiday and will also be asked to support other intensive foster carers by providing respite and short-break care.
Intensive fostering will also include bail and remand care to prevent a young person being detained in a police cell or secure accommodation unnecessarily.
Anyone interested in applying to become an intensive foster carer is encouraged to attend one of the following information events:
- Wednesday, 4 March 2020 at St Peter’s Parish Hall (in the chapel) from 6pm to 8pm
- Saturday, 7 March 2020 at St Martin’s Public Hall from 10am to 12pm
- Saturday, 14 March at St Paul’s Gate, St Helier, from 10am to 12pm.
Prospective intensive foster carers should register their interest online by Tuesday, 31 March 2020. An initial home visit will then be undertaken in April when details about the assessment process and training programme will be shared.