Lancashire County Council’s foster carers are to receive a ‘thank you’ surprise extra payment in recognition of the vital support they have been giving children and young people during the coronavirus pandemic. An amount of £100 will be given to foster carers for each child they were caring for during the pandemic.
Leaders at the county council have recognised the incredible commitment shown by foster carers during the pandemic as they continue to help children cope with additional anxiety, take on home schooling, and provide extra activities at home, as well as offering reassurance and support during the lockdown.
County Councillor Phillippa Williamson, cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: “I’d like to say how deeply grateful we are to all our foster carers, whose continued support is more important than ever at the moment.
“The changes to all our lives due to the current pandemic mean that many carers have been offering more support than usual to the children and young people they look after.
“We are all in unchartered territory, but our foster carers certainly rose to the challenge as they found themselves providing even more support, including home-schooling in some cases.
“I want them to know that we are extremely thankful, and recognise the enormous contribution they are making.
“Giving them this additional payment for all the great work they do is a gesture of our heartfelt gratitude to them, especially during these unprecedented times.”
Edwina Grant OBE, Lancashire County Council’s executive director for education and children’s services, said: “I hope that this financial gesture to address some of the additional costs arising out of the pandemic shows our foster carers just how much we value them, and the incredibly important job that they do.
“I would also like to offer my personal thank you to our incredible foster carers, and remind them that we are right behind them, and here for them should they need any support and advice.”
The additional payment will be allocated from the Winter Grant Fund that was received by the county council from the government in December 2020.
The fund is aimed at families eligible for benefit related free school meals, vulnerable families with pre-school children and other vulnerable families, including those caring for looked after children.
It is set to run until the end of March 2021.
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.
There is also a generous allowance for both new and experienced foster carers, who can expect to receive between £250 and £428 per week for each child they care for.
The county council has introduced some new initiatives so that it can provide even more support and guidance for new foster carers including a foster care academy and fostering mentoring scheme.
New foster carers will also receive specialised training and any necessary support from a team of psychologists and emotional health workers.
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 team on 0300 123 6723.