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Urgent appeal to recruit specialist foster carers in Blackpool and Blackburn

We've teamed up with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council to launch an urgent appeal for more people to find out about becoming a specialist foster carer.

We've joined up with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council to recruit a diverse range of fostering families who can provide them with a safe and supportive environment.

Foster carers are needed across all age ranges, for varying length of times. Carers that can look after children and young people with complex needs are a priority but foster carers from all walks of life are needed.

Specialist fostering involves caring for children and young people with complex emotional and physical needs.

Types of specialist foster care

There are several types of specialist fostering including:

Parent and child fostering (sometimes known as mother and baby fostering). This involves caring for a vulnerable parent and their young child.

Fostering disabled children. As a foster carer for disabled children, this may involve taking care of a child or young person with a range of medical conditions including developmental disabilities such as autism, physical disabilities which limit a child’s mobility, and learning or sensory disabilities.

Step down fostering. A step down foster carer will help a child or young person adjust to moving from a residential children’s home to living in a stable and supportive family environment.

Remand fostering. This type of fostering provides young people who are remanded by the courts with a remand foster carer while they await court proceedings. A remand placement is usually a short-term arrangement and involves a foster carer working closely with youth justice officials.

People interested in becoming a specialist foster carer must have a spare bedroom and be over 21 years.

Package of support

Specialist foster carers receive extensive training and a full package of support, including enhanced generous allowances to cover the cost of caring for a child or young person and to acknowledge the commitment required to this crucial role.

They also benefit from regular support groups, peer mentors for new carers, fostering forum meetings and a dedicated supervising social worker.

Michelle Plaiter is a foster carer with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.

Michelle said: “We have been foster carers for five years and specialise in parent and child placements. With nine children of our own, and our professional backgrounds, we felt that we had the expertise and passion to support parents who are within the Child Protection process.

“We wanted to help parents to be able to improve their parenting skills so that they had the chance of keeping their children in their care."

Barbara Corrie-McDonald had fostered for more than eight years with an agency before she joined Blackpool Council last November.

Barbara said: “There are currently 10 of us in the house at this moment and this includes a group of five siblings. Two of the children have been with us since we started fostering eight and a half years ago.

“One of the most rewarding parts of being a foster carer is seeing what the children can achieve when they are given the opportunity. They have to have the opportunity to do it. Seeing the change in them and being happy is very rewarding.”

If you’ve thought about fostering in the past, we can help you make it a reality. 

Please get in touch and find out more.