Home Children and Young People Could you make foster care your career?
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Could you make foster care your career?

by Gemma Melling

Knowsley’s fostering service is urging you to think about whether you could make foster care your career, with foster carers now in demand across the borough due to the impact of COVID-19.

Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Cllr Margaret Harvey, said: “If you want to help during these challenging times, then please look close to home. The difference our foster carers make to the community is incredible. They turn the lives of children and young people around by providing them with care, a safe home and the happy childhood they deserve.”

Foster carers offer a safe place to stay for children and young people who can no longer live at home. This can be on a short-term or long-term basis or at planned regular intervals.

Rita and Colin Dignall have been foster carers with Knowsley for 36 years. Rita says: “Fostering is one of our greatest achievements. It is so rewarding and although it has its challenges, knowing you have made a difference to a child’s life is one of the best feelings you will ever have. Since I started to foster, my family and friends have joined me over the years. Now I have two sisters, one brother and two friends who also foster for Knowsley. The fact is, these children need a loving home and you can make a huge difference not only to their life but yours.”

The rewards package offered to carers by Knowsley Council helps to ensure they can foster long-term and are supported in their role. Head of Knowsley’s fostering service, Ruth France says: “We believe that foster care should be treated as a career. When you join us, you’ll receive training and a competitive fostering allowance that increases with your skill level. You’ll also be supported by a dedicated social worker and have someone you can contact 24/7 if you need to.

“We are always looking for foster carers who can provide a loving home for Knowsley’s most vulnerable children. You don’t have to have childcare experience, but if you do, it’s a bonus and being a foster carer is a great way to use your skills. Please don’t hesitate to enquire if you think you can be a part of our community and make a difference.”

Can I be a foster carer?

You can apply to be a foster carer no matter your relationship status, whether you have a disability, if you work or live outside of the area. There are only a few requirements to meet, these are:

  • You must be aged over 21 years.
  • You must have a spare room suitable for a child or young person to live in.
  • You must be caring, understanding and empathetic.

If you’re considering fostering or your employment has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and you can offer short-term, long-term or short break placements, please contact Foster for Knowsley by phone on 0151 305 4289, email fostering@knowsley.gov.uk or visit their website.