Cornerstone's programme of recruitment and retention offers a comprehensive ‘end to end’ package of foster carer support to local authorities, creating a lasting and sustainable solution.
Many local authorities are struggling to recruit sufficient in-house carers and have to resort to using Independent Fostering Agencies to provide placements for children at a much higher cost. This often entails placing children outside of their local area, meaning a change of school and loss of support networks.
Cornerstone’s sustainable solution is predicated on bringing the end user perspective into the heart of the service and operates in modules: recruitment, retention, and support. The full programme, including data capture and reporting, runs for two-and-a-half-years.
Cornerstone works hand in hand with the authority’s in-house team to first analyse and diagnose the barriers to recruitment. They then develop a targeted and multi-channel recruitment strategy that utilises existing carers as ambassadors through an event based marketing plan, focusing on audiences most likely to be receptive at a local level. There is customer service training for recruitment teams, online tracking tools to monitor the full recruitment cycle, and an emphasis on creating a sustainable legacy. The support module is aimed at growing the skills and confidence of carers as well as a ‘community’ of connected carers so that placement stability is improved.
Cornerstone’s proven track record of delivering a lasting solution to fostering recruitment addresses a priority challenge for London.
There are both financial and non-financial benefits to local authorities implementing the service:
- Average foster carer enquiries increase by 30%
- Cost savings of £265k annually as a result of fewer IFA placements
- Reduced placement breakdowns
- Robust performance measurement tools
- Training and support to improve lead conversion
- Long term sustainable strategy
“We brought in Cornerstone to help re-shape our approach to foster carer recruitment and I’m delighted to say it’s had a transformative effect both in terms of recruitment opportunities - which has resulted in a significant number of new carers being recruited - and also a lasting impact on the team in their ability to efficiently process potential new carers...With Cornerstone’s help in the space of a year, we have completely turned around our performance in this important area of our work...” Head of Service, SCS
“Cornerstone set out to test a new approach to the recruitment of in house foster carers which centred on targeted, face to face promotion supported by press and social media instead of blanket/generic indirect marketing...We tested a variety of channels and audiences and found clear trends which we used to hone the approach and in doing so supported the service to achieve a 30% uplift in enquiries”. Tri Borough Service Manager
Thomas Man Head of Capital Ambition ([email protected]ouncils.gov.uk)