- Building on previous regional work carried out through the You Can Foster project around sharing good practice in fostering recruitment and retention a full day session was organised to bring together those working in this area to learn from other authorities. 40 people from 26 authorities in the North West and Yorkshire attended and 19 North West authorities were represented.
- The Adopt North West campaign arose from a requirement to recruit additional adopters to meet the needs of children waiting for adoption. It's most recent campaign activity took place between 2016 and 2018 and focussed on those children who wait longer to be adopted.
Adopt North West was a centralised recruitment campaign run under a brand created for this purpose. Agencies were procured to deliver aspects of the activity which included TV advertising and a central website.
- A market research agency was appointed to carry out research into the marketing of fostering recruitment. The research was carried out using an online forum with those who had never considered fostering alongside prospective foster carers and those already approved. Participants were asked about a range of subjects from preconceptions about foster care to their views on individual adverts.
- The Minimum Standards are in place to provide monitoring to the unregulated providers on the SaILs (Supported and Independent Living) DPS. Minimum Standards assessments are carried out by a dedicated Contract and Quality Monitoring Officer.
- Fostering Front Door was a shared service for handling enquiries from prospective foster carers that ran from 2015 to 2020. Originally intended as a pilot the service delivered on behalf of nine authorities over the five year period.
A key feature of the service was it being a social work led service with a focus on consistently high standards of customer service.
- Placements North West produce regular census reports on the North West local authorities' external placements. These are compiled using snapshot data and are used to better understand trends and inform regional, sub regional and local decision making. The data is currently being collected quarterly.
Data summary tables are made available for local authority analysis.