Interest in fostering up 33%
Enquiries into becoming a foster carer for the Local Authority have increased by a third in one year.
In April 2018, Warrington Borough Council, together with Cheshire East Council, Cheshire West and Chester Council and Halton Borough Council, formed Foster4, Cheshire’s regional foster carer recruitment service – one of the first in the country. In the first year of operation, the service has seen a significant increase in enquiries from residents interested in becoming a Local Authority foster carer. A total of 47 new households were approved as foster carers in 2018-19.
Cllr Jean Carter, executive board member for children’s services, said: “We created Foster4 to pool resources and build on the strengths of the existing teams, ultimately, to recruit more foster carers. The fact that we’re seeing such a renewed interest from the public is very pleasing. It means that we can keep more local children close to their schools, friends and family, with carers we know well, giving them the best possible chances of a stable future.
“Becoming a foster carer for your Local Authority is one of the most rewarding things you can do. It can be a lifelong, home-based and flexible career. Some of our carers have been fostering over 40 years, others just a few months. All are part of a dedicated community of local foster carers, who come from different walks of life.
“We’ve strengthened our offer to carers to make it even more accessible. We’re offering a wealth of benefits, in addition to our already exceptional support, training and allowance packages. Our average allowances are around £300 per week, per child, to ensure you can provide our most vulnerable children with a high quality of life, helping to transform their experiences of childhood.
“I’m encouraging everyone who wants to ensure local children get the best possible childhoods, to make an enquiry into becoming a foster carer. We’re particularly keen to hear from those who could care for older children and teenagers and children with more complex needs.”
Foster4 is looking for people who are great with children and young people, have a spare bedroom, and can welcome a local child or young person to be part of their family on either a short or long term basis. You could foster around your existing job, if you have one, as long as you can be flexible, or you can make fostering your primary role.
Foster4 run six ‘Become a Foster Carer’ information sessions each month, across the four Local Authority areas. The next Warrington sessions are being held on: 23 May, 6pm and 25 June, 10am at Orford Neighbourhood Hub, Jubilee Way, WA2 8HE.
Request an information pack from Foster4 at www.foster4.co.uk or call 01925 444100 to find out more. Find Foster4 on Facebook @foster4cheshire.