Lancashire County Council’s latest campaign to recruit carers to foster a local child and change their life will launch this month.
With around 20 new Lancashire children coming into care each week and needing urgent foster care placements, the campaign aims to attract local people and families to come forward and find out more.
Launching on Monday 17 June, the campaign will be promoted in many ways including on buses, bus shelters and on social media channels. It will highlight the need for more foster carers and the incredible impact they can make on a child or young person at a time when it is really needed, whilst also enriching their own lives.
As part of the campaign, over the next few weeks, foster carers and staff from Lancashire County Council’s fostering service will also be 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:
• Thursday 20 June from 10am to 2pm, Morecambe Market, Marine Road Central, Morecambe, LA4 4DW
• Saturday 22 June from 11am to 4pm, Summer Fair, Manor Road Primary School, Clayton-le-Woods, PR6 7JR
• Saturday 22 June from 11am to 4pm, Lancaster Pride, Dalton Square, Lancaster
• Saturday 22 June from 1pm to 5pm, Newburgh Fair, Newburgh Primary School field, Back Lane, Newburgh, WN8 7XB
• Sunday 23 June from 11am to 4pm, It’s a Knockout, Tarleton Corinthians FC, Carr Lane, Tarleton, PR4 6BT
• Saturday 29 June from 10am to 4pm, Leisure Lakes, Steam and Vintage Vehicle Rally, Mere Brow, Tarleton PR4 6JX
• Sunday 30 June from 10am to 4pm, Leisure Lakes, Steam and Vintage Vehicle Rally, Mere Brow, Tarleton PR4 6JX
• Sunday 30 June from 10am to 4pm, Burnley Classic Vehicle Show, Todmorden Road, Burnley, BB11 3ER
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.
The campaign will run until the end of June.
County Councillor Phillippa Williamson, cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: “We are pleased to run this campaign. In Lancashire, we have 2,090 children currently 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 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.
“Unfortunately 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.
“People have a lot of preconceived ideas about why they might be ruled out as foster carers, but the only thing that matters is the support you can offer the child. Whether you are older, single or never had children, you can foster. Foster carers just need to be able to provide a solid and reliable foundation for children and young people to find theirs.
“We know that fostering doesn’t just improve the lives of the children and young people who are fostered, it also has the potential 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.”
New foster carers 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 come along to an information evening and find out if it could now be a viable option.
No formal experience or qualifications are needed to be a foster carer, all you need is a spare room available and a desire to make a difference to a local child’s life.
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.
Recruitment priorities for Lancashire include places for:
– Brothers and sisters – including sibling groups of three 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 challenging behaviour.
– 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.
For more information about becoming a foster carer, or to find out more about the campaign, call the fostering recruitment team on 0300 123 6723 or visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/fostering