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Foster parents 'desperately needed' in Shropshire and Staffordshire due to coronavirus pandemic, agency says

By Rory Smith | Coronavirus | Published:

More foster parents and social workers are "desperately needed" due to the coronavirus pandemic, a newly-launched agency has said.

Rachael Davies with mother Amanda Davies and daughter Ava Shaw, 8

With more than 50 years experience in the fostering and social care sector between them, Rachael and Amanda Davies fear the Covid-19 crisis will result in a drastic spike in children entering into care throughout Shropshire and Staffordshire – a worry the pair said is being widely recognised in the industry nationally.

The mother and daughter duo, whose agency Families First Fostering was accredited by Ofsted in May this year, have issued a plea for adults throughout both counties to consider becoming foster parents.

Rachael, 36, has been an approved foster parent for 15 years and Amanda, 57, fostered children for more than 11 years, including more than 40 children while Rachael and her sister were growing up.

Rachael Davies with mother Amanda Davies and children Vinnie and Ava Shaw, 4 and 8

Rachael, registered manager at the agency, said: "During this pandemic, a worrying result is an increased number of children coming into care in the local area.

"More foster parents are desperately needed to care for children in Shropshire and it's being widely recognised in the sector nationally for lots of reasons.

"Schools have been shut so children haven't been seen by professionals and social workers as much as they usually would.

"Children haven't had access to school meals and there's obviously been an impact on people's financial wellbeing, and that's likely to continue with companies making further redundancies.

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"On top of those factors there's just general stress as well. Families that would usually have a break through certain means have all been cooped up together.

Rachael and Amanda Davies

"All of these things have an impact on children entering into care and this might be a good time for people to consider a career change if they've seen their own personal circumstances change."

Based in Stone, the agency is appealing for social workers and foster parents throughout Shropshire and Staffordshire.

Rachael added: "We are a family-owned and run agency, a mother and daughter team who are both qualified social workers and have both previously fostered. We're based in Staffordshire and we're looking across Shropshire as well, but the agency will remain small to keep a family feel, and to ensure the owners are actively involved in all areas of fostering."

For more information, visit familiesfirstfostering.com, email info@familiesfirstfostering or call 01785261621.

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley, Telford.

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