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New year, new career as a foster carer?

People looking for a new career in 2024 are being urged to consider becoming a foster carer.

We're appealing to residents in Blackpool who could offer a safe and loving home to local children and young people to explore the idea of fostering this year.

Choosing fostering as a career provides an opportunity to work in an area where people can directly change a child’s life for the better.

We're also appealing to experienced foster carers who feel the time is right for a fresh start and want to work directly with a small friendly council who have children immediately requiring that stability.

By fostering with Blackpool Council, people can access fantastic development opportunities and a competitive financial rewards package. Plus, foster carers also find that the emotional rewards truly are priceless.

For the right individual, fostering is an incredible journey. It's also fulfilling and life-changing as it enables foster carers to make a lasting and positive impact on the children in Blackpool who need it the most.

The council recognises the value of different experiences and life skills, and welcomes applicants from across the community. What is essential is that applicants have a spare bedroom and are over 21 years.

By fostering with the council, foster carers are supported using an innovative approach called the Mockingbird Family Model, which is currently being introduced into the service.

Mockingbird nurtures the relationships between children, young people and foster families to create a support network similar to that of an extended family.

The group of foster carers are described as satellite foster homes, and they provide children and their carers with support, including sleepovers where appropriate and shared social activities.

Foster carers also benefit from a comprehensive package of support including:

  • Enhanced generous allowances
  • Regular support groups and peer mentors for new carers
  • An out of hours support and advice line
  • Dedicated supervising social worker
  • Access to the in-house psychology team

One couple who decided to change their career was Janet and John Armer. The couple have fostered with Blackpool Council since May 2023 and are currently looking after a four-month-old baby and providing respite (short-term) care to a two-year-old girl.

Janet said: 

I worked as a paediatric nurse for 34 years and retired from nursing at 55 years-old. My husband was a mechanic before he retired. “I started the fostering process as soon as I retired. I’d always thought about fostering simply because I’ve always enjoyed looking after children. Now that my two children have moved out, we just felt like we needed a child in the home. I can’t believe that there is such a need for foster carers because it’s so rewarding. You get so many rewards from fostering, not only from the child but when you see them coming on and developing. Watching little ones learn to smile is just wonderful. We read them stories and show them how to play. Neglect is the biggest thing to overcome. They have to start to understand the fact that they are going to get food regularly as they may have been left all night previously. The reward seeing them develop a bond with you is priceless.”

Cllr Jim Hobson, Blackpool Council Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Care, said:

“We are very lucky to have dedicated foster carers such as John and Janet, but we urgently need more people who are willing to take on this rewarding challenge in Blackpool. The start of the New Year offers the perfect opportunity to think about making a change and explore new ideas such as fostering. We know that our foster carers are never 'in it for the money’ but many people think that they won’t be able to afford to start fostering. We provide a wealth of invaluable training, benefits and rewards including a generous weekly allowance to help cover the cost of caring for a foster child, such as clothing, food, savings and pocket money. After all, being there for our foster carers and encouraging them to be a fantastic foster carer means local children and young people will thrive in their care. If you’ve thought about fostering in the past, we can help you make it a reality. Please get in touch if you feel like you could make a difference.”

Blackpool Council is one of five local authorities set to benefit from £1.2m to boost foster carer recruitment in the region.

Along with Blackburn with Darwen Council, Cumberland Council, Westmorland and Furness Council, and Lancashire County Council, the council has been awarded funding from the Department for Education to launch a regional foster carer recruitment hub by April 2024.

Find out more about fostering by visiting or call 01253 420222.