Lancashire County Council is trying out a new approach to recruiting foster carers.
As part of the ongoing drive to find new carers, drop-in surgeries will be held soon so that anyone who is interested can drop-in informally and find out more.
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.
The sessions will be held in libraries as follows:
Monday 22 October from 9am to 12 noon and 1pm to 4pm at Chorley Library
Tuesday 23 October from 9am to 12 noon and 1pm to 4pm at Kingsfold Library, Penwortham
Wednesday 24 October from 10am to 2.30pm at Burscough Library
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.
County Councillor Susie Charles, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Schools, said:” With around 20 Lancashire children needing homes each week, we need to recruit new 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, and in libraries, are both new approaches that we are trying out to recruit the new foster carers that are needed. We recognise that people have very busy lives, so this could be a very useful way of being able to talk to people who are interested in finding out more when they are visiting a library.
“These events really are very informal to encourage people to have a chat with us. If it proves to be successful we will roll it out to other areas.”
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.