11 May 2023

Blackpool Council celebrates Foster Care Fortnight

Next week marks the start of Foster Care Fortnight, a national campaign that aims to raise the profile of fostering and show how foster care transforms lives.

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Next week marks the start of Foster Care Fortnight, a national campaign that aims to raise the profile of fostering and show how foster care transforms lives.

Running from 15-28 May, Foster Care Fortnight is the UK’s biggest foster care awareness-raising campaign.

The annual campaign is organised by the charity, The Fostering Network, and highlights the incredible work foster carers do to make a real difference to children’s lives.

This year’s theme is ‘fostering communities’ and is designed to shine a light on the many ways people across the fostering community support each other.

The fortnight of activity helps to increase awareness around the need for more foster carers and Blackpool Council is using the opportunity to tackle fostering myths.

Currently, there are more than 70,000 children living with almost 56,000 fostering families in England. Every 20 minutes another child comes into care needing a foster family. The majority of these children are placed in care due to abuse or neglect.

The Fostering Network estimates 8,000 new foster carers are needed across the UK this year alone.

In Blackpool, there is a real need for more foster carers which is why the council is asking individuals and families to come forward to find out more about fostering.

There are some common myths about fostering, which may prevent eligible people from exploring the idea of fostering.

The top five most common questions are:

  1. I’m single, can I still foster?

You can foster if you’re single, living together, divorced, or separated, married, in a stable relationship or part of the LGBTQ+ community. What you will need is a committed support network.

  1. Can I foster if I don’t own my home?

As long as you’re financially secure, it doesn’t matter whether you own or rent your home. If you’re renting though, you will need to ask your landlord for permission before you foster.

  1. I have a disability or health condition, can I foster?

Yes, as long as your disability or medical condition is stable and does not affect your ability to care for a child. You must not put your own health at risk.

  1. I don’t have children of my home – can I foster?

We welcome applications from single people and couples who do not have children, as well as those who do. You must, however, have had some experience of caring for or working with other people’s children.

  1. Can I work and foster?

Yes, of course you can. We would work with you on the type of fostering you can offer and ensure careful matching with the right child.

People interested in becoming a foster carer must have a spare bedroom and be at least 21 years of age. Applications are also welcome from those whose children have since left home and people in retirement.

Blackpool Council foster carers benefit from a comprehensive package of support including ongoing training, enhanced generous allowances, regular support groups, peer mentors for new carers, fostering forum meetings, an out of hours support and advice line, and a dedicated supervising social worker.

Diane Smith has been fostering with Blackpool Council for around 19 years. She is currently looking after two siblings, as well as a 12-year-old and a 17-year-old.

Diane said: 

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“I like to look after older ones and teenagers as I think they need your help more so it’s very challenging but rewarding. “When they achieve something – that’s what makes it all worthwhile like when one young lad came to me and said, ‘I’ve been to a mechanic and he is going to take me on.’ You can sit back and say that you’ve guided that young person to do what they’ve wanted to do. “I like to take on a challenge and help them grow, teaching them skills that they wouldn’t have and develop their problem solving skills. When asked what advice Diane would give to someone thinking of fostering, she said: “As long as you have got commitment, kindness, openness and can always be there for them then go for it. “Do all the training that you can and think about the adaptability of different cultures and different backgrounds. “I do a lot reading and studying and put all this into practice. A lot of it is how you speak to the child as words have the power to change a life.”
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Victoria Gent, Director of Children’s Services at Blackpool Council, said

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“Foster Care Fortnight provides an ideal opportunity to recognise the dedication of our invaluable foster carers. “We would like to thank Diane and every other member of our fostering community for offering love, security and understanding to the children in their care. “Whilst we appreciate our foster carers, we do need more people to consider fostering for Blackpool so if you’ve thought about fostering in the past, we can help you to make it a reality. “Don’t be put off by the common misconceptions about fostering. There is no such thing as a typical foster carer. Our foster carers are as diverse as the children they take care of and bring a wide range of life and work experiences. “One of our main asks is that people have the time, energy and flexibility to support a child or young person. “Please get in touch if you feel like fostering could be the right fit for you.”
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To find out more about fostering, visit or call 01253 420222