Make a difference as a foster carer - events in Pendle, West Lancashire, South Ribble, Chorley and Hyndburn

Monday, February 03, 2020

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



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

The sessions will be held as follows:

• Tuesday 4 February from 10am to 1pm at Nelson Library, Market Square, Nelson BB9 7PU
• Tuesday 11 February from 10am to 1pm at Skelmersdale Library, Southway, Skelmersdale, WN8 6NL
• Tuesday 18 February from 10am to 1pm at Leyland Library, Lancastergate, Leyland PR25 2EX
• Tuesday 25 February from 10am to 1pm at Accrington Library, St James' Street, Accrington BB5 1NQ

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 February, foster carers and staff from Lancashire County Council's fostering service will be attending the event below.

They will be ready to answer questions, talk you through the process, offer advice and share their own experiences of fostering:

• Friday, 21 February from 10am to 2pm, Children's Craft Session at Euxton Library, St. Mary's Gate, Euxton Chorley PR7 6AH

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 fostering homes, 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. There's also a need for some children to be cared for until they are an adult and throughout their life.

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 local 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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