Lancashire County Council is celebrating Foster Care Fortnight and making an urgent call to recruit new foster carers, especially during the current coronavirus pandemic.
Foster Care Fortnight is the UK’s biggest foster care awareness raising campaign, delivered by fostering charity The Fostering Network. It will take place this year between Monday 11 May and Sunday 24 May.
People are being asked to consider whether a change in their circumstances caused by the current situation could leave them well placed to provide a loving home for a vulnerable young person. The county council is also urging anyone who has fostered with them in the past to think about coming forward to offer the benefit of their experience. It is hoped that foster carers who are currently taking a break from fostering and retired foster carers will also come forward as they already have the skills and know how important fostering is for making a real difference to a local child’s life.
The demand for foster carers remains high and the council still needs to find around 20 places every week for the children and young people it cares for.
County Councillor Phillippa Williamson, cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: “The coronavirus situation has caused disruption to many of our services, but we’re still recruiting new foster carers, and need their support just as much as ever.
“We’re hoping that a change in some people’s circumstances may open the door to them choosing to foster.
“That’s why we are even more pleased to take part in this great national campaign. The theme this year is This Is Fostering, which we fully support as it showcases the commitment, passion and dedication of varied carers who can change the future for children and young people by their actions.
“We know this isn’t just the lives of the children and young people who are fostered, it also has the power to change the lives of foster carers, their families and all those who are involved in fostering.
“We’re also particularly asking people who have fostered before to think about whether they could lend a hand in case of more demand being placed on the system as the pandemic continues.”
Caring for vulnerable children is one of Lancashire County Council’s highest priorities, and its fostering team are available 24/7 to offer support and advice. Foster carers also have access to their own social worker, a dedicated helpline and flexible training that is local to where they live.
There is also a generous allowance for new foster carers, who can expect to receive between £244 and £421 per week for each child they care for.
County Councillor Williamson added: “I’d like to say how deeply grateful we are for all our current foster carers, whose support is more important than ever at the moment.
“We know the changes to all our lives due to the current pandemic mean that many carers will be offering more support than usual to the children and young people they look after and I want them to know how that we are extremely thankful, and recognise the enormous contribution they are making.
“I also want to remind all our current, and new, foster carers that we’re right behind them, and here for them should they need any support and advice.”
Lancashire County Council welcomes new foster carers from all different backgrounds.
Foster carers need to be over 21 and have a spare room available by the end of the assessment process.
To find out more visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/fostering or call our friendly team on 0300 123 6723.