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What to expect as a first-time foster carer

Posted: Friday 4th September 2020

Baby being supported and with his hands held by foster parents

Children and young people can be in care for all sorts of reasons. The children who are placed with foster carers come from many different backgrounds and may have experienced a great amount of loss and trauma.

They will require carers who are sensitive to this and can offer them plenty of support and reassurance during this difficult time in their lives.

It may take some time for them to adjust to living with a new family but by choosing to foster in Blackpool, you can provide the stability and security that they need whilst keeping them connected to their family, school and friends.

You can expect to get a great deal of reward from fostering in Blackpool. You’ll experience many proud, happy and memorable moments yourself, with your family and with the child or young person you are looking after, and most importantly, you’ll get the chance to positively transform a child’s life.

Support

Fostering is a big commitment but very rewarding. The ongoing support from our team reflects the level of responsibility you’ll have. We want our foster carers to enjoy fostering and be equipped to do well.

Remember, as a foster carer you are never alone. We provide foster carers with everything they need including full training, 24/7 support, generous allowances and access to a local forum.

Our dedicated fostering team will provide ongoing support.

You will form relationships with social workers, teachers, health professionals, parents and family members of the child in your care and other professionals working together in the best interests of children and young people.

All fostered children have a dedicated social worker and every family has their own supervising worker.

Your supervising social worker will be a member of the fostering team allocated to support you and who will meet regularly with you to discuss any concerns you have, offer supervision, and arrange any training you feel you need (as well as some compulsory training your service will provide).

Training

Our foster carers in Blackpool tell us that the training they receive helps them to provide high quality care to children across the town. Our training is easy to access and all courses take place in a range of venues in Blackpool, so you never have to travel too far.

Face-to-face events are currently on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, but these will resume as soon as possible.

Many courses are arranged specifically for foster carers at times to fit around the school day and we can support you with childcare and free parking.

Foster carers in Blackpool are offered an excellent training package and we are keen to support carers to progress and gain professional qualifications, for example, NVQ Level 3 Health and Social Care.

You will have plenty of opportunities to train alongside social workers, residential care staff, nurses, teachers, clinical psychologists and police officers. This will enable you to develop your skills and professional competence, benefiting from learning alongside other professionals.

We also offer a range of online training courses so you can do them at home.

Social opportunities such as support groups, coffee mornings and other events for all carers and their families are held regularly throughout the year – these will be resumed once it is safe

Uncertain times

The coronavirus is having a significant impact on everyday life. During the coronavirus pandemic, the number of children and teenagers in need of foster care has increased.

We need foster carers more than ever in Blackpool.  

Whilst we know that coronavirus has caused plans to be put on hold for many people, others are feeling reflective and are looking to make a change now that lockdown restrictions are being lifted.

Foster care doesn’t just transform the lives of the young people – it also has the power to change you and your family’s lives and everyone involved.

If you’re considering becoming a foster carer, get in touch and we can discuss your options.

Call our friendly fostering team on 01253 477888 or email fostering@blackpool.gov.uk