Agenda item

Fostering in Middlesbrough- Quarter 3 data

The Head of Residential Services will provide the Board with information on the quarter 3 fostering data.


The Head of Fostering was in attendance to provide the Board with the quarter 3 fostering data. The Board had received previous reports, which had shaped the way the information was to be presented to the Board.  This quarterly report was based on the data requirements set out in the Ofsted Fostering Data Set, which was a statutory return compiled using data as of the 31 March each year.


Quarter 2

Quarter 3

Number of Enquiries

Number of Initial Visits





Number of fostering families

(mainstream and full approved connected Carers)



Number of children placed with Middleborough Carers



Foster placements available for children that are not occupied

·        The reduction has been for a number of reasons, for example the quality of our data is improving but in addition, the foster families terms of approval is being reviewed.

·        The service has reviewed every foster carer and their provision to ensure we are utilising every bed space.

·        The 15, may also include foster placements that offer respite care to support stability

·        Number of foster families which are approved only for babies (0-2 years)

·        We do reach out to neighbouring authorities if Middlesbrough struggle to place a child, however other authorities also struggle within their own area.



De – registrations (households)




Foster to adopt

Some of the children secured permanence through the legal order so not all de-registration was negative


In terms of de-registration, if the Council know there are difficulties, we ensure we increase supervision, look at support and training need. 

Once a foster carer decides to de-register, the Council will have in-depth discussions regarding the reasons, and generally they leave to personal health issues.

However we do have some families (3 over the last 2 years) who go to an independent fostering agency.


4(7 children provision)

1 (2 children)


5 (5 children)



 (7 children)

2(2 children)

Panel activity(households)

Reviews to family placement panel

Newly approved;

Mainstream fostering families


Connected fostering families

Matches for children and their long term fostering families

Supported Lodgings




1 (1 child 2 if sibs respite only)

4 (8 children)

7 (10 children)





1 (1 child)


6 (6 children)

1 (child)

1 (1 young person)

In terms of what was working well within the fostering service and supporting lodgings, the Team Manaager advised the Board that:

        Social workers and Supported Lodgings worker receive monthly reflective supervision

        Workers continue to scale themselves on average 7/8 out of 10 in respect to work satisfaction

        Increased levels of compliance and Management Oversight evidenced within fostering family records

        New policies have been introduced to staff and fostering families

        We have devised a 12 month training program which includes face to face training from BAAF and e-learning from the Training Hub – all specific to the training needs identified within the team. Providing them with clarify of purpose.

        Supported Lodgings Providers are now enjoying monthly formal supervision and the opportunity to attend support groups

        Our first cohort of Fostering Academy carers are being nurtured within our service and are on target to complete their TSD Standards within 12 months of approval.    This is a massive achievement and all of the foster carers have provided positive feedback

        A large scale marketing campaign has been developed in close consultation between the fostering service and the marketing team

        Pathways through Fostering training is underway and has been well received by carers.

        A Recruitment Strategy has been devised to sit alongside the wider marketing strategy for the LA

        Social Worker caseloads continue to remain stable and are conducive to improving quality of practice in addition to compliance

        Development of ICT systems to streamline working and provide greater clarity for performance, quality and understanding fostering families journey

        Introduction of peer supervision

        Embedding of early permanence planning meetings and midway reviews for children in connected carer arrangements, supporting permanency being achieved at the right time, this is further supported by close liaison with the court manager. This to develop further to include Family Group Conference service.

        The implementation of the Mockingbird was at formative stages with a scheme of work planned in February 2022

In terms of concerns, the service does have concern regarding:


        Impact of COVID-19 on recruitment of foster carers – lack of enquiries and difficulty in undertaking home visits.

        We do not have enough MBC approved foster carers to place all of our children in internal provision

        Recruitment of fostering families remains a challenge however this is not unique to MBC, there is a national shortage of fostering families

The Team Manager was thanked for her presentation.


AGREED- That the information be noted.


Supporting documents: