The new regional fostering recruitment hub officially launched on 23 May with the
representatives for the four local authorities, the recruitment team, foster carers and
foster children joining the showcase event.
Foster for East Midlands is a collaboration between councils in Derby, Derbyshire,
Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. It means anyone considering becoming a foster carer
across the four areas can access a single support hub to make an initial enquiry or to
receive advice or guidance about foster care.
The four authorities successfully applied last year to join the Department for Education’s
Fostering Recruitment and Retention programme and secured £1.626m in government
funding. The funding will also help improve the support available for existing foster
carers across the region, helping them to create loving, stable homes for children who
need them.

At the end of March this year, there were 3,314 children in care across the Foster for
East Midlands area, while there were 592 approved foster carers. It is hoped the new
recruitment hub will boost that number so there are more carers available in children’s
own communities, meaning less young people would need to be placed in unfamiliar
Since the hub launched eight weeks ago, the team has received 292 enquiries from
potential foster carers, 17 of which have already progressed to full applications.
Derby City Council is leading on the Foster for East Midlands project, receiving the
funding to implement the regional hub and create a ‘Mockingbird constellation’ in each
local authority area. Mockingbird aims to nurture relationships between cared for
children, young people and foster families by bringing together six to ten fostering
families who act as an extended family, providing vital support.

Judy Levitt, Head of Service for Fostering and Performance at Derby City Council said: “Foster for East Midlands is an excellent example of collaboration between the four
authorities and it’s already off to a remarkable start in terms of enquiries and
applications. The aim of the recruitment hub is to make it easier than ever to apply to become a foster carer. It’s critical that we attract more foster carers across the area so more young people in need will have access to stable, loving homes in their own local

Paula Hancock and her husband Andy have been fostering for Nottinghamshire County Council for nine years. Under the new programme, they have become Mockingbird Home Hub carers. Paula said: “We love the ethos of Mockingbird, which is ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. It’s like an extended family for the children, helping them build relationships and, importantly, normalise fostering. It will help carers and children to feel less isolated. Foster carers can share their experiences with one another and feel part of a support network. It sounds like a cliché, but fostering really is so rewarding. The range of children in the constellation is really diverse and we’re looking forward to building relationships with them and the foster families.”

Graham and Sarah Pyman have been fostering with Derby City Council for nine years.
The couple have four children of their own and have fostered around 25 children.
Graham said: “Fostering is a great opportunity to make a real difference to a young person’s life. We’ve been involved in helping recruit foster carers and we’re really looking forward to what Foster for East Midlands is going to bring in the future. If there have been this many applications in eight weeks, what will it be in eight months, or eight years? We’re thrilled to be a part of it.”

The Government is investing £36m into 10 regions across England to rollout new foster
carer recruitment support hubs. The aim is ensure there are more foster carers
available, ready to offer the right home, at the right time to children who need it, by
extending recruitment campaigns, providing support through the application process
and extending the support offer to current foster carers.

To find out more about fostering, visit the Foster for East Midlands website or call 03033 2950

The recruitment team will offer support every step of the way. You can
also book onto a Foster for East Midlands information event, which is a great way to find
out more about fostering.