TWO neighbouring local authorities have taken the first step towards setting up a joint foster care service.
Northumberland County and North Tyneside Councils have appointed a joint manager to oversee their fostering work.
Paula Gibbons, who has managed North Tyneside’s fostering service since 2003, took up the new post last week.
The fostering services currently provided by the two councils will remain unchanged at this stage.
However, they are committed to sharing services and creating partnerships in order to work more effectively.
It is hoped this will lead to improved placements for vulnerable young people and more opportunities for looked-after children.
Paul Moffat, corporate director of children’s services in Northumberland, said: “This is an important first step in the process of sharing services between us. Our fostering service is keen to work with North Tyneside to build on the excellent work it has been carrying out throughout the county over the years.’’
Coun David Lilly, North Tyneside’s cabinet member for children, young people and learning, said: “Joint working will put both councils in a strong position to take forward their corporate parenting agendas and ensure that services are ready and able to move forward in challenging times.’’