Councillors concerned by shortage of Welsh speaking foster carers
Katy Jenkins, local democracy reporter
Finding more foster carers who are Welsh speaking must be a priority for looked after children, councillors have said.
As they received the latest figures on looked after children in the county, Ceredigion council members of the healthier and communities overview and scrutiny committee highlighted the issue of Welsh speaking children being placed with English speaking families.
Cllr Alun Lloyd-Jones said it was a long-standing issue and that these children “find themselves in very strange circumstances, then they have to change their language of everyday use.”
Committee chairman Cllr Mark Strong added: “This is not a new issues, and I realise the difficulty with finding foster carers, but if a child is stressed already and then they have to get used to speaking permanently, 24 hours a day, in a language they are not comfortable or accustomed to it’s going to have a negative effect on them.”
‘Increasing the numbers’
Cabinet member Porth Cynnal Cllr Alun Williams said that increasing the numbers of foster carers in general was a key strategy of the council as it aims to reduce the number of children being sent out of county for support.
“We need more foster carers, particularly Welsh speaking foster carers, but we need more foster carers across the board,” he said, adding it has been a priority for the department.
The committee agreed that the need for Welsh speaking foster carers, and how more could be encouraged to get involved, be discussed as a separate matter at a future meeting, with a report prepared by officers.
It received a report on the quarter too safeguarding figures, ending September 2020, which show that 75 children were being looked after by the authority, a drop of two from the previous quarter.