Wigan-led foster carers project to get green light

Wigan Town Hall
Wigan Town Hall

A Wigan led project to help boost the number of foster carers across Greater Manchester is due to be signed off later this week.

The combined authority is proposing to hand the town hall £330k as part of its children and young people’s plan.

The scheme will see the council host a pair of staff tasked with finding more effective ways to recruit carers and train them to support youngsters who require ‘extraordinary support and care’.

The grant could be approved at Friday’s meeting of the GMCA.

Susan Myers, practice director for specialist and targeted children’s services at Wigan Council, said the move will help to ‘raise the profile of foster carers’ across the city region.

“Foster carers do an amazing job and I hope that more people who potentially have the skills and space in their homes and hearts can come forward and help children who sometimes have encountered a tough start in their lives,” she added.

The cash is part of £490k to be released by the combined authority having been received from the Department for Education to ‘support work on the sufficiency and quality of placements for looked after children’.

Salford Council is to receive £160k to undertake a review of how care placements for vulnerable youngsters are found and to look at options for developing shared services.

Ms Myers said: “Wigan Council will host two posts on behalf of GM which will explore ways to better recruit, train and support foster carers to care for some of our more complex children, older children and children who require extraordinary support and care.

“We will develop our mocking bird approach of more than one foster carer sharing the care of a child and supporting each other, alongside other creative ways to help children to live in families in their own communities.

“The additional funding over the next two years will help in our bid to increase the number of carers, reach the wider community, raise the profile of our foster carers and showcase the rewarding experience that foster care can be for carers and children.”