Appeal for more foster carers to come forward

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FOSTER carers are needed more than ever for the children looked after by Lancashire County Council.

In August, the county had 1,335 children and young people in care – 40 more than the same time last year. The message of the campaign is simple: if you have room in your heart and a room in your home, you can foster.

Social workers are hoping to put paid to some of the myths that put people off applying to foster.

Gill Green, the manager in charge of recruiting foster carers for Lancashire’s 1,300-plus children in care, said: “Foster carers need to have a caring nature, enjoy being with children and a sense of humour.

“The main thing is they’re the right kind of person. The other thing they need is a spare room where a child or young person could feel at home. But beyond that, we don’t have any sort of blueprint for foster carers.

“We have a huge variety of people on our books – single, married, co-habiting, in same-sex relationships, with or without their own children, working or not – in fact, like any other cross-section of society.

“We had a great response to last year’s campaign and have gained some wonderful new foster carers. But sadly this is not a need which goes away and this September we have 1,335 children and young people who are looked after – about 40 more than the same time last year.

“It’s a population that changes day-to-day and our foster carers are always there for us, whether it’s keeping a baby for a few weeks while a vulnerable mum gets some help, looking after a brother and sister who are waiting for adoption, or taking in a teenager who can’t live at home.

“But we need more foster carers – we always need more – and we’re hoping the people of Lancashire will stop to think about whether this might be for them.”

Allowances are paid to foster carers once they are approved and a child is placed with them. There is ongoing training and extensive social work support.

To find out more visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/fostering or ring 0800 1951183.