Do you think you could join the hundreds of foster carers already discovering the rewards of sharing their lives with children who need a home?
Over the next few weeks, foster carers and staff from Lancashire County Council’s fostering service will be 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, 27 April from 10am to 4pm Let’s Grow Preston Spring Fair, Ashton Park, Preston PR2 1HL
• Saturday, 18 May from 10.30am to 2.30pm Barton Grange Garden Centre, Garstang Road, Barton PR3 0BT
• Friday, 24 May from 9am to 5pm Sainsbury’s, Active Way, Burnley BB11 1BS
• Tuesday, 28 May from 10am to 3pm Colne Library, Market Street, Colne BB8 0AP
• Wednesday, 29 May from 12.30pm to 2.30pm Guild Hall, Lancaster Road, Preston PR1 1HT
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 come along to an event and find out if it could now be a viable option.
Barbara Bath, head of the adoption, fostering, residential and YOT service at Lancashire County Council, said: “With around 20 Lancashire children needing homes each week, we need to recruit new foster carers.
“Just go along to one of these events to find out if this could be for you. You’ll be able to talk to our friendly team and our foster carers about what it is like to foster in an informal setting, as well as having a fantastic day out.
“If there’s nothing in your area at the moment, don’t worry as we will be going along to more events throughout the year. Just check our website on a regular basis for up-to-date information”.
Future information evenings will also be held at County Hall in Preston, for anyone thinking about becoming a foster carer but can’t make the community events.
At these events, 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 a place to attend a fostering information evening – you can just turn up, but please arrive early to avoid disappointment.
For more information about when the information evenings will be held, call the fostering recruitment team on 0300 123 6723 or visit the website www.lancashire.gov.uk/fostering
To be considered as foster carers, people need to be over 21, and living in or close to Lancashire.
A package of support is available 24/7 to help foster carers in their role, including local support groups, their own social worker, and a dedicated helpline staffed by experienced social workers. Training is flexible including during school hours, evenings and weekends and online training, and can be tailored to the needs of any child.
The county council is particularly looking for people who can foster all ages of children, particularly siblings who need to stay together and teenagers.
If you’re unable to come along to an event, and want to find out more about becoming a foster carer, call the recruitment team on 0300 123 6723 or visit the website www.lancashire.gov.uk/fostering