Couples urged to consider fostering

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A new drive has been launched to get more borough couples into fostering.

And those curious about the possibility of taking in one or more youngsters into their homes have a perfect opportunity to find out more later this month.

They are invited to call into the YMCA in Wigan on Friday January 27 where experts from Community Foster Care are holding a drop-in information session.

The independent agency is urging people to come for a chat at Hilton Street, Ashton, at any time between 1pm and 4pm.

“Becoming a foster carer is rewarding and life-changing,” said Emma Weaver, registered manager with Community Foster Care.

“Many people think they can’t foster, but the opposite is often true. There’s lots of help and training to get you started and constant support along the way.”

There are more than 500 children in care in the Wigan area.

“Children are in care through no fault of their own. All they want is a safe place to call home and people who will try to understand them,” said Emma.

“Please come and talk to us and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.”

Foster carers come from all walks of life and can be male or female, single, married or divorced.

They must be over 25 and in generally good health. Community Foster Care is a not-for-profit agency which provides foster carers for children in the Wigan area, as well as Lancashire and Cumbria.

Of course the organisers are looking for commitment.

According to figures obtained by the Wigan Evening Post last year under freedom of information laws by charity Action for Children, 163 of the 588 children in foster care in the borough had more than two homes in between April 2015 and March 2016.

Action for Children has said that being moved regularly between foster homes can affect their social skills, educational outcomes and employment prospects - impacting on their behaviour as well as emotional and mental health.

It has its own appeal to find thousands more foster carers who can provide a secure and loving home to children who have experienced trauma and loss.