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Information evening for potential foster carers

Lancashire County Council will hold an information evening in November as part of a campaign to recruit new foster carers.

The Fostering Information Evening will be held on Wednesday 15 November 2017 at County Hall, on Fishergate Hill in Preston, from 6pm to 7.30pm.

Anyone thinking about becoming a foster carer is invited to the event to find out more.

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

The county council has recently increased the allowances payable to new foster carers, so now they can expect to receive between £241 and £415 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 come along to an information evening and find out if it could now be a viable option.

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 are pleased to run this campaign. In Lancashire, we have 1,923 children in our care and we need more people to provide the support and stable homes that these children and young people need to really thrive.

“We have increased our allowances to foster carers this year 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.

“We are looking for people who can foster all ages of children, particularly siblings who need to stay together and teenagers. No formal experience or qualifications are needed, all we ask is that you have a spare room available and a desire to make a difference to a local child’s life.

“We know that fostering doesn’t just improve the lives of the children and young people who are fostered, it also has the power to enrich the lives of foster carers, their families and all those who are involved in fostering.

“If you are interested in fostering then your local authority is the best place to find out more. More people turn to their local authorities than any other fostering provider. Foster carers across the county are benefiting from the local support and training we provide.

“We are always looking for new foster carers to look after the range of children who come into our care each week, with the greatest need being for foster carers for older children, sibling groups and children with additional needs.

“Hopefully the messages of our campaign will encourage people to come forward.”

The county council campaign will highlight the need for more foster carers and will be promoted in many ways during November, but will focus on social media using the hashtag #LancsFostering.

Recruitment priorities for Lancashire include:

– Brothers and sisters – including sibling groups of 3 or more children/young people.
– Older children/young people – over half of all looked after children are 10 or older
– Children from black and ethnic minority backgrounds, in particular black or Asian children and increasingly those from new migrant communities
– Long term – where children and young people are not able to live with their own families for a number of years, if at all. Children and young people stay in a family where they feel secure, while maintaining contact with their birth family.
– Children with complex/additional needs including behaviour that challenges.
– Parents and children together – this involves having a child or children with one or more of the parents in your home and supporting them to care for their children. This type of fostering is challenging but rewarding and the enhanced allowances offered to foster carers reflect this.

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 come along to the information evening, call the fostering recruitment team on 0300 123 6723 or visit the website www.lancashire.gov.uk/fostering

You can find us on Facebook and Twitter @lancashirecc using the hashtag #LancsFostering

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

Free parking is available on the Arthur Street car park, next to County Hall, and the Pitt Street entrance is accessible for disabled people.

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