AS WELSH Government moves ahead with plans to remove profit from the care of looked-after children, Foster Wales highlights the benefits of fostering with a local authority.

Wales is in the process of a whole system change for children’s services.

The changes proposed in the 2021 cooperation agreement between Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru prioritise services that are locally based, locally designed, and locally accountable.

Within these plans there is a clear commitment to ‘eliminate private profit from the care of looked after children.’ This means, by 2027, care of children that are looked after in Wales will be provided by public sector, charitable or not-for-profit organisations.

In light of these changes, Foster Wales – the network representing Wales’ 22 local authorities – are calling for more people to become local authority foster carers and encouraging those currently fostering with a for-profit agency to transfer over to their local authority team.

Alastair Cope, Head of Foster Wales said: “These changes represent a huge opportunity to make a long-lasting, positive change to social care provision in Wales – benefiting looked-after young people today and in the future. Foster carers are key to making this change a success as their experience and expertise is crucial.

“Local authority foster care offers many benefits, including support from a locally based expert team, extensive learning and development opportunities, a generous allowance to support you in the care of the child placed with you, and a ready-made community of other carers nearby.

“Most importantly, it helps young people stay in their local community. We know that when children stay connected, stay local, and have someone to stick by them for the long term, we see better outcomes.

“As the need for foster carers continues to grow, we need our community in Wales to step forward. At Foster Wales, we are working together to make a national impact, making foster care in Wales the very best it can be for our young people, by listening to those who care for them.

“We’re encouraging all those with an interest in caring for children, or those currently fostering with a for-profit organisation, to make an enquiry today, and be part of this positive change to create better futures for local foster children in Wales.”

Local foster carers Cath and Neil made the switch from an independent fostering agency to foster with their local authority, Foster Wales Wrexham, in 2018.

“It’s so important that children stay in their local areas, so they’re close to their friends and their school. When we were fostering with an agency, children were often moved around a lot from carer to carer, sometimes far away from their roots.”

“Now, the children we look after keep in touch with their friends and relatives, and that’s vital.”

79% of children cared for by private fostering agencies in Wales are fostered outside their local area, and 6% are moved out of Wales entirely. Meanwhile, 84% of those living with local authority foster carers stay within their own local area, close to home, to school, to family and friends.


Tayler was fostered by her local authority in Carmarthenshire. She said: “I wasn’t aware that some private businesses make a profit from care. That makes me feel like vulnerable children aren’t the priority, the money is. I recently graduated from university. The local authority helped me with this process and now I am living a happy and safe life, just like my younger self dreamed about.”

Cllr Robert Walsh, a lead member for children’s services, said: “Being a foster carer with Wrexham Council offers the opportunity to make a long-lasting and positive change to the care of our young people, benefiting them today and in the future.

“There are many benefits to carers, including support and training, giving young people the option to stay in their local area. Local communities are key to making this change happen so please contact our fostering team if you are interested.”