Today marks the beginning of Foster Care Fortnight
The fortnight of activity helps to promote the need for more foster families in Blackpool and across the UK.
The campaign is co-ordinated by national charity, the Fostering Network, and is the UK’s biggest foster care awareness raising campaign.
This year’s Foster Care Fortnight theme is ‘This is fostering’ and is designed to show how valued fostering is and the positive difference it can make to the lives of children and young people across the country.
Currently, 65,000 children are living with fostering families in England. Every 20 minutes another child comes into care needing a foster family.
Coronavirus may have caused plans to be put on hold for some people but there is still a need for more foster carers to come forward.
Now more than ever, Blackpool Council needs local people to become foster carers in Blackpool.
We've spoken to Carl and Diane Mitchell who have been awarded an MBE for services to Children and to Young People in Blackpool.
Cllr Lynn Williams, Deputy Leader of Blackpool Council (Children), said: “Foster Care Fortnight is a great way to recognise the hard work and dedication of our foster carers and say thank you.
“We are very proud of everything our carers do to change children’s lives for the better and would like to thank each and every one of them. Our foster carers come from all backgrounds and bring a wide range of life and work experiences.
“As lucky as we are to have our current group of foster carers in Blackpool, there are still many children out there in need of a foster home close to their local community and we urgently need more foster carers to look after them.
“Our team remains busy and continue to help people start their fostering journey with virtual home visits and training. We are still taking applications and our initial visits to potential foster carers are now virtual.
“I would urge anyone who feels they might have what it takes to be a foster carer or knows someone who might be suitable to get in touch and find out more.”
Foster carers are as diverse as the children they take care of and virtually anyone can apply to become one.
There are many different ways to get involved – it’s even possible to foster on a part-time basis.
Foster carers receive full training, ongoing and dedicated support, 24 hours a day and a financial allowance. The help and advice offered by the experienced support team is tailored to each foster child.
As the foster service is 'not for profit', the primary importance is finding the best placement for the child or young person.
For more information, visit www.blackpool.gov.uk/foster or call 01253 477888.