Extra payments for borough’s foster families during coronavirus lockdown

Date published: 13 May 2020

To mark the start of the national fostering campaign, carers in the borough of Rochdale are to be handed an extra payment to help them cope with the demands currently being placed on them during the coronavirus lockdown period.

Every day 55,000 foster families across the UK are giving 65,000 fostered children and young people a loving, secure and stable home, and this commitment from foster families is ongoing during the coronavirus outbreak.

Rochdale Council is supporting the Fostering Network’s Foster Care Fortnight and is aiming to raise awareness of the extraordinary dedication and work of foster carers throughout the year, but especially at this challenging time, as well as calling for more people to come forward to help give children a home.

Councillor Kieran Heakin, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “We are always incredibly grateful to our foster carers for all they do but times like this really bring that home. We hope our announcement of an extra payment goes some way to us showing foster carers that we value all they are doing. We are always recruiting for foster carers and in these challenging times we need them more than ever. I’d love to see people in our wonderfully caring communities come forward and help us support our cared for children to be the best they can be.”

This extra payment is one way the council is supporting foster carers during this crisis but ongoing help also includes locally-based support and training, hands on support and guidance from social workers and a dedicated virtual school for cared for children. Working with the educational psychology team the council has also provided training videos on play and resilience, and in partnership with Link4Life and Cartwheel Arts produced the ‘Get Creative’ activity book aimed at primary school children to support home learning.

Prior to the current lockdown the council opened an employee assistance scheme for foster carers. The free scheme provides advice and a counselling support service that is delivered independently by Health Assured.

Despite the practical and emotional challenges that the coronavirus is bringing, foster carers continue to provide day-to-day support, love and stability to children and young people who can’t live with their birth families. They support children and young people’s education, health, and social wellbeing, and also help to maintain the children’s relationship with the people who are important to them but who they cannot currently see in person.

Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network, said: “‘Foster care transforms the lives of children and young people as well as those of the foster carers and their families. This has never been more important. Foster carers help children and young people flourish and fulfil their potential, as well as provide a vital service to our society. Because this happens mainly in the privacy of their own homes – especially at the moment – their contributions too often go unnoticed. Foster Care Fortnight is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the work of foster carers and their families as well as recognising how transformational foster care can be for the children and young people who need it.”

The council always needs more foster carers to make sure children in care can live in stable and loving homes with the right foster carer for them. Anyone who wants to make a real difference to the lives of children and young people by becoming a foster carer is urged to call 0300 303 1000 or visit 

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