Home Local News Make a difference as a foster carer – events in Rossendale, Burnley...

Make a difference as a foster carer – events in Rossendale, Burnley and Chorley

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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, an information evening will be held on Wednesday 11 December at Rossendale Children and Support Service, Newchurch Road, Rawtenstall BB4 7QX. Anyone thinking about becoming a foster carer is welcome to attend the event, from 6pm to 7.30pm, to 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.

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

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

The sessions will be held as follows:

• Saturday 7 December from 10am to 12 noon at the Nationwide Building Society, 80 St. James’s Street, Burnley BB11 1PH
• Tuesday 10 December from 10am to 3pm at the One Stop Shop, The Business Centre, Futures Park, Bacup OL13 OBB
• Monday 16 December from 10am to 1pm at Rawtenstall Library, Queen’s Square, Rossendale BB4 6QU.

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 December, foster carers and staff from Lancashire County Council’s fostering service will be at the venues and attending the events below.

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

• Saturday, 7 December from 10am to 4pm, Family Fun Day at Chorley Library, Union Street, Chorley PR7 1EB
• Saturday, 7 December from 11am to 2pm, Family Fun Day at the Buttermere Community Centre, Buttermere Avenue, Chorley PR7 2J6

Barbara Bath, head of the adoption, fostering, residential care and the youth offending service at Lancashire County Council, said: “With around 20 new Lancashire children needing homes each week, we need to recruit more foster carers.

“The reality is that there is a rising demand for placements with more children and young people coming into the care of the local authority each week.

“In recognition of the valuable role of foster carers in providing loving homes for the children in our care we have already increased the allowances that we pay to them.

“Recently we’ve been holding drop in surgeries, attending events and being in communities to try to recruit the new foster carers that we need. We know that people lead very busy lives, so we are finding that the approach of getting out in communities is a very useful way of being able to have a chat with 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 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.

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 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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