Chance to drop in and make a difference as a foster carer

Friday, October 25, 2019

You could join the hundreds of foster carers already discovering the rewards of sharing their lives with children who need a home.



In November, as part of the ongoing drive to find new carers, an information evening will be held on Wednesday 20 November at County Hall, Preston. Anyone thinking about becoming a foster carer is welcome to attend the event, from 6pm to 7.30pm, to find out more.

Members of Lancashire County Council's fostering team, as well as social workers and current foster carers, will be available to answer questions, talk you through the process and offer advice.

There is no need to book for the fostering information evening - you can just turn up, but please arrive early to avoid disappointment.

Drop-in surgeries will also be held in November, as part of the ongoing drive to find new carers, so that anyone who is interested can drop-in informally and find out more.

The sessions will be held as follows:

• Saturday 2 November from 10am to 12 noon at the Nationwide Building Society, 25 Euston Road, Morecambe
• Monday 11 November from 10am to 3pm at the Town Hall, Lytham St. Anne's
• Monday 25 November from 10am to 1pm at Lytham Library, 27 Clifton Street, Lytham

These events offer the chance to have a face-to-face meeting with an expert in fostering recruitment and assessment. They will be able to talk you through the process, and offer advice.

Current foster carers will also be available to answer questions.

An advantage of attending the events is that your eligibility can be checked on the spot and an initial home visit booked immediately, to fast track you through the process.

Also in November, foster carers and staff from Lancashire County Council's fostering service will be at the venues and attending some of the events below. They will be ready to answer questions, talk you through the process, offer advice and share their own experiences of fostering:

• Tuesday, 5 November from 10am to 2pm, Salt Ayre Leisure Centre, Doris Henderson Way, Lancaster LA1 5JS
• Monday, 11 November from 10am to 3pm, the Town Hall, Leyland FY8 1LW
• Tuesday, 12 November from 8.30am to 4pm, Clitheroe Market, Station Road, Clitheroe BB7 2JW
• Thursday, 14 November from 10am to 4pm, Tesco, Towngate, Leyland PR25 2FN
• Sunday, 24 November from 10am to 3pm, Christmas Fair, Towneley Hall, Holmes Street, Burnley BB11 3RQ
• Saturday, 30 November from 10am to 3pm, Cleveleys town centre, next to Home Bargains, 47 – 51 Victoria Road West FY51BT

County Councillor Phillippa Williamson, cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: "With around 20 Lancashire children needing homes each week, we need to recruit more foster carers.

"We have increased our allowances to foster carers in recognition of their valuable role in providing loving homes for the children in our care. There is also a rising demand for placements with more children and young people coming into the care of the local authority each week.

"Holding drop in surgeries, attending events and being in communities are more recent approaches that we have been trying out to recruit the new foster carers that are needed. We recognise that people have very busy lives, so these could be very useful ways of being able to talk to people who are interested in finding out more when they are busy with their daily activities.

"These events really are very informal to encourage people to have a chat with us."

With around 20 Lancashire children coming into care each week and needing urgent foster care placements, the county council is keen to attract local people and families to step forward.

Some need foster care for a few days, while others need a longer period of care for up to a year or more.

Foster carers could be asked to care for children and young people across a wide age range, from birth to 18-years-old, and are encouraged to consider as many ranges of children’s needs and age groups as possible. However new foster carers may feel more comfortable in caring for a specific age group when initially approved, whilst building up their confidence and experience with the support and guidance of the fostering team.

Respite carers, needed to look after children and young people for short periods of time, like weekends and during school holidays, are also now encouraged to come forward. This could be for looked after children where they need a short break, or for children with disabilities.

The county council has increased the allowances payable to new foster carers, so now they can expect to receive between £241 and £300 per week for each child they care for.

People who have considered fostering before, but weren't sure they could afford it, are advised to go along to a drop-in surgery and find out if it could now be a viable option.

A package of support is available 24/7 to help foster carers in their role, including local support groups, their own social worker, a dedicated helpline and flexible training.

If you're unable to go along to a drop-in event, call the fostering recruitment team on 0300 123 6723 or visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/fostering

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Tagged as: Children, Education and Families


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