Council wins government funding for new foster therapy

Fellow student Bethany Toon, 17, with Bruce Wetherill, 25, at St Vincent College, Gosport  Picture: Neil Marshall (171028-16)

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EXTRA care for foster children in Portsmouth with behavioural problems is in store thanks to a £40,000 grant from central government.

Children’s minister Tim Loughton yesterday announced the pot of money for Portsmouth City Council out of a total £6m handed out to 37 authorities nationwide to support foster carers and vulnerable families.

Portsmouth’s money will fund a multi-dimensional treatment foster care (MTFC) programme in 2011/12 which dedicates a trained foster carer and clinically-led team to one child at a time for between six months to a year.

Their aim is to reduce behavioural problems, increase social, emotional and relationship skills and improve foster placement stability whether the long-term plan is to return home, long-term foster care or adoption.

Mr Loughton said: ‘Poor parental care can have a lasting impact on children. Yet we know that with the right support, families with entrenched difficulties can be helped to turn their lives around.

‘For those children who can not remain with their families, we want to ensure those responsible for caring for them have the right support.

‘We know programmes such as MTFC have a track record in helping some of our most vulnerable children have a more stable and successful childhood.’