#childsafety | Top tips for becoming a foster carer in Bolton

Becoming a foster carer can be a daunting prospect but it needn’t be when there is so much help and support available.

If you have a safe and loving family home life and want to dedicate your time to taking care of babies, children and young people in foster care in the area there’s no need to feel worried or anxious about the application process.

Even if you have a long list of questions that need answers in order for you to decide to become a foster carer – don’t let this put you off.

The fostering team at Bolton Council can help.

Members of the fostering team are friendly, open and supportive and they are always available to answer any questions and allay any concerns you may have about becoming a foster carer.

You won’t be pressured into fostering and once you start the fostering journey, you will be well-supported every step of the way.

Here are a few of the foster team’s top tips to help you start the process: • Do some background research. There are some fantastic books on foster caring that provide a real insight into the role.

• Go along to any events and webinars where you will get chance to hear from current foster carers. They always share the best information and give the best insight into life as a foster carer.

• Think about the age group of children you are interested in fostering and then think about health and safety in your home. You may need to adapt your house with safety gates for toddlers, or remove items from your kitchen cupboards and bathrooms. Do you have a first aid box and a fire escape plan?

• If you already have children, make sure you have spoken to them and sought their views as they are integral to the process.

• Talk to family members, friends and colleagues and involve them in the fact-finding process. Share what you learn from speaking to the council every step of the way, so that you are not alone. We care about your family and how it will impact them and we want to involve them and talk through any concerns they may have. Never be afraid to share these concerns with us because we can answer your questions and manage your expectations. This is a life-changing commitment for you and your family and we want to prepare you all for it and help you succeed.

• There’s no need to have any special qualifications or experience to become a foster carer but you do need an understanding that the children you will be looking after will need extra special care.

• Think about the skills and experience you already have and let us help you foster children and young people in Bolton. We are here to support and guide you through the fostering journey and beyond and we will always work at your pace.

For more information about becoming a foster career visit www.bolton.gov.uk/fostering, email fostering@bolton.gov.uk or call 0800 107 1564.

Bolton foster team will hold monthly advice webinars for prospective carers

Bolton Council’s fostering team will be hosting webinars for future foster carers once a month until the end of the year.

The sessions will run on the third Wednesday of the month and provide help and advice for anyone wanting to find out more about the rewarding role.

Foster carers in Bolton offer a safe, secure and loving home a child or young person, offering a vital lifeline to enable youngsters to remain living in their own community.

There are around 170 fostering households in Bolton and the council wants to recruit more people that can offer children and young people a safe and stable home.

The first session will be held on Wednesday, June 23 and then on July 21, August 18, September 15, October 20, November 17 and December 15.

Anyone wanting to secure an invite for the webinars, which start at 7pm, should email fostering@bolton.gov.uk

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