Wigan Council to buy house so foster children won't lose their placements

Wigan Town Hall
Wigan Town Hall

Wigan councillors have rubber-stamped plans to buy a house so that two children can continue to be cared for by their foster family.

The town hall gave the green light to the proposals earlier this month in order to secure the stability of the foster placements of two children.

Following the decision, the council can now spend up to £250,000 on a family home and draw up a tenancy agreement with the foster carers once the purchase has been

made.

A document published on the council’s website explains the logic behind the plans.

It says: “Wigan Council have an ambition to care for all our looked after children in family homes, in their communities.

“If a foster placement ends in an unplanned way the impact on the children is significant and the cost of meeting their needs is substantial.

“This decision ensures that two looked after children will continue to be cared for by their foster carers in a suitable family home and will reduce the risk of residential care for these children.”

Councillors also discussed the option of not buying a house, but they believed that this would result in the “unplanned ending” of the foster placement.

If this happened, the town hall would have to find alternative arrangements for the children, which - it was decided - would “adversely affect their life chances” as well as increasing the cost of caring for them.

James Winterbottom, director for children’s services, said: “We take our responsibilities as corporate parents incredibly seriously and we want to ensure that all young people in our care are cared for in loving families and our amazing foster carers are vital in achieving that.

“We have a Deal for Foster Carers to ensure we support our foster carers as much as we possibly can to carry out their crucial role as effectively as possible.

“Our priority is to provide a stable and positive childhood for our children and the individual circumstances of our children in care require individual approaches to care for them well.

“In this case the foster carers will be in a tenancy agreement with the council, which was the best approach to keep the family together.”