Lancashire County Council is offering the surprise extra payment in recognition of the vital support they have been giving children and young people during the coronavirus pandemic. An amount of £100 will be given to foster carers for each child they were caring for during the pandemic.
Leaders at the county council have recognised the incredible commitment shown by foster carers during the pandemic as they continue to help children cope with additional anxiety, take on home schooling, and provide extra activities at home, as well as offering reassurance and support during the lockdown.
County Councillor Phillippa Williamson, cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: “I’d like to say how deeply grateful we are to all our foster carers, whose continued support is more important than ever at the moment.
“The changes to all our lives due to the current pandemic mean that many carers have been offering more support than usual to the children and young people they look after.
“We are all in uncharted territory, but our foster carers certainly rose to the challenge as they found themselves providing even more support, including home-schooling in some cases.
“I want them to know that we are extremely thankful, and recognise the enormous contribution they are making.
“Giving them this additional payment for all the great work they do is a gesture of our heartfelt gratitude to them, especially during these unprecedented times.”
The additional payment will be allocated from the Winter Grant Fund that was received by the county council from the government in December 2020.
The fund is aimed at families eligible for benefit related free school meals, vulnerable families with pre-school children and other vulnerable families, including those caring for looked after children.
It is set to run until the end of March 2021.
The county council has introduced some new initiatives so that it can provide even more support and guidance for new foster carers including a foster care academy and fostering mentoring scheme.
New foster carers will also receive specialised training and any necessary support from a team of psychologists and emotional health workers.
Lancashire County Council welcomes new foster carers from all different backgrounds.
Foster carers need to be over 21 and have a spare room available by the end of the assessment process.
To find out more, visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/fostering or call our team on 0300 123 6723.
It is thanks to our loyal readers that we can continue to provide the trusted news, analysis and insight that matters to you. For unlimited access to our unrivalled local reporting, you can take out a subscription here and help support the work of our dedicated team of reporters.