Liverpool City Council’s fostering service has received a record number of enquiries so far this year.
This is believed to be as a result of changes in people’s circumstances due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
As more people are now working flexibly, mainly from home, they are now able to consider supporting a young person.
In January alone, more than 100 expressions of interest in looking after a child were received.
More foster carers are always needed as there are over 1,500 young people in care in Liverpool.
Chris and Amanda became foster carers for Liverpool in March 2020, initially part-time to fit around work commitments, and care for a 14-year-old boy.
The couple, who are in their early 30’s and both work full-time, wanted to be involved in helping children who have been through trauma, helping get their lives back on track.
Thanks to an increase in flexible working due to the pandemic, the young person has been able to stay with them and they hope he will remain with them long-term.
Chris and Amanda said: ‘‘We were unsure at first if we could foster because of working full-time and even our age.
‘‘We were aware it was a bit unusual, but we were really well supported through the application process and now we tell people It’s the most rewarding thing we’ve done.’’
The couple added: ‘‘It’s definitely worth looking into.’’
The council holds regular online webinars, during which people can find out more first-hand from foster carers.
Chris and Amanda, who became foster carers last year, are speaking at the next event on Thursday 18 February at 6pm. You can sign up to it here.
The more foster carers that come forward, the more children can be supported in their local community.
A wide range of support and benefits are provided to foster carers, including:
- A dedicated fostering social worker
- Access to support services
- Financial support and allowances
- Ongoing training
- Free council tax
- Lifestyles fitness membership for the family
- Access to a holiday home
Councillor Lynnie Hinnigan, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: ‘‘If you’ve ever thought about fostering and would like to find out more, we would urge you to get in touch.
‘‘Fostering makes such a different to children and young people by providing them with a loving home and stability at a time when they need it the most.’’
Stuart Williams, Service Manager for the Fostering Service said: ‘‘There are many different types of fostering and we’d encourage anyone who’s interested to get in touch and explore the possibilities.’’
To find out more about fostering with Liverpool, you can visit here or call 0151 515 0000.
Picture credit: perpetualfostering.co.uk/