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Latest News - 1st November 2018

Knowsley Fostering Families Celebrate Sons and Daughters Month

October marked the annual Sons and Daughters month with Knowsley’s fostering families enjoying the celebrations with an ice skating party in Widnes. The event was attended by the sons and daughters of Knowsley foster carers and was an opportunity for the service to thank the children and young people for the essential role they play in welcoming fostered children into their families and ensuring successful fostering placements.

When considering fostering, many people say that the potential impact on their birth children is one of the major barriers to becoming a foster carer. The reality is that many children benefit from being part of a fostering family. Knowsley have 290 looked after children, who need loving, stable family homes and seeing life from another’s perspective can be an enriching experience and can help the children of foster carers learn and develop as an individuals.

News - 15th May 2018

Knowsley and Sefton Council’s Fostering Teams Join Forces in their bid to Recruit More Foster Carers for Brothers and Sisters with #StayTogether Event

Knowsley and Sefton Council have joined forces once again in their search for new Foster Carers. There are over 750 looked after children in Knowsley and Sefton and the need to recruit new Foster Carers to provide a loving home to children remains a priority. Both authorities are urging anyone who has ever thought about fostering and would like to know more, to come along to their #StayTogether event.

The event will take place on board the fostering bus, a specially converted double decker bus. Both Knowsley and Sefton’s fostering teams will be there to answer any questions and will be chatting to people about the support they can expect from Knowsley and Sefton’s Fostering Services. There will also be an opportunity to meet Foster Carers who will share their experiences and answer any questions.

The event will be held over two days :-

  • Thursday 17th May at Tesco, Prescot Cables Retail Park, Steley Way, Prescot, L34 5NQ, 9am-6pm
  • Friday 18th May at Aintree Retail Park, Ormskirk Road, Liverpool, L9 5AN, 9am-6pm

Colette Dutton Executive Director (Children), Knowsley Council said “We are delighted to be working once again with Sefton Council on the #StayTogether fostering information event. We are always looking for new Foster Carers with our greatest need being for Foster Carers who could provide a safe and loving home for sibling groups, older children, and children with additional needs. We hope by holding this event during Foster Care Fortnight that people come along and chat to some of our fostering families who come from a wide range of backgrounds but all have one thing in common – their desire to provide a loving home and a brighter future for some of our boroughs most vulnerable children. Of course we understand that fostering is a really big decision for people to make, but we offer excellent support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and offer financial allowances in recognition of the loving homes foster carers provide for the children in our care. I would encourage anyone who is thinking about becoming a Foster Carer to come along and have a chat with our friendly teams without feeling obligated or pressured in any way.”

Cllr. John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding said “Fostering really can change a child’s life. Foster carers offer supportive, caring and firm foundations to our vulnerable children and young people; it’s a hugely rewarding role. I would encourage anyone who’s been thinking about fostering to come along to the event to find out more”.

Why #StayTogether?

A sibling relationship is life’s longest lasting relationship and this is no different for looked after children. Most siblings benefit hugely from staying together; and the council does all it can to make sure it finds carers who can care for them together in order for them to maintain a strong bond and make some happy memories together.

If you would like to find out more about fostering or if you are an existing Foster Carer who is thinking about transferring, then get in touch with Knowsley’s Fostering Service who would be delighted to speak to you about it. Call 0151 443 3959 or enquire online.

News - December 2017

Inspirational Night at Knowsley Childrens Social Care Celebration of Achievement

A truly inspirational night was had by all at Knowsley’s Children’s Social Care Annual Celebration of Achievement Awards held at The Venue on Thursday. The event shone a spotlight on the successes of Knowsley’s looked after children and included awards in education, personal achievement, sports and leisure. Along with an achievement award for three young people who have each achieved a first class hons degree this year.

There was also special recognition given to the young people who have worked with the Ariel Trust to raise awareness about mental health issues and encouraged other young people to make the most of their lives.

The Mayor of Knowsley Cllr Frank Walsh opened the event, which was supported by, Cllr Lilly Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Director of Children’s Services Paul Boyce.

Along with a delicious chocolate fountain and comical photo booth, children (and adults) were also entertained throughout the awards ceremony with both musical and dance performances. Cllr Lilly Cabinet Member of Children Services said ““It is unquestionably the highlight of our calendar and a truly inspirational night. It is evenings such as this that we are reminded to stop for a moment and congratulate the children and young people on their achievements, whether that is for success in school, in leisure activities or for making a difference to the lives of others. The musical and dance performances by some of the children were phenomenal, and it was evident on the evening that our looked after children have the aspirations and confidence to achieve their full potential.”

Congratulations to all the children and young people who were nominated

News - November 2017

Frank Cottrell-Boyce Joins Judging Panel For New Writing Competition That Encourages Fostered Children and Young Adults to Tell Their Story.

An inspirational new creative writing competition - developed by the award-winning You Can Foster campaign - will encourage children and young people in foster care and fostering families from all over the North of England to tell their stories and so encourage a new generation of adults to sign up as foster carers.

An inspirational new creative writing competition - developed by the award-winning You Can Foster campaign - will encourage children and young people in foster care and fostering families from all over the North of England to tell their stories and so encourage a new generation of adults to sign up as foster carers.

The Inspiring Stories competition, aims to explore the ambitions of the thousands of children and young people who are in foster care across Merseyside, Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Cumbria and Lancashire

It is hoped that the stories will reveal the real sense of value and motivation that foster carers can instill in the young and the profound way in which they can help shape young lives for the better.

Children’s author Frank Cottrell-Boyce says, “Stories are how we make sense of our lives. The only way we can hope to understand another person is by listening to their story. The only way we can hope to understand ourselves is by finding someone who will listen to our story. When we hear other people’s stories we discover we are not alone in our troubles. And we learn that there are solutions to our problems.

Poet Tony Walsh says, “As a poet, a writer, an artist of any kind, ultimately it's all about storytelling, isn't it; the creation of something that connects with another human being and touches them or shapes them in some way. As someone from a very ordinary, working-class background myself and having worked with a huge variety of people, organisations and communities; celebrating and encouraging the extraordinary stories of ordinary people is a big part of what I try and do.

“I'm a firm believer that becoming involved in the arts can be not only life enhancing, not just life changing, it can actually be life saving on occasions too. It strikes me therefore that as artists and as foster carers, in some ways we're in the same business: that of reaching out and touching people. Enhancing lives, changing lives, saving them, even. There are some amazing stories from the many quietly inspirational children and young people in foster care out there and we'd love to read them. Find a pen. Write down yours. Share it with pride. Storytelling: it's what we do.”

Author Livi Michael says, “Inspiring Stories is a great opportunity for young people to see their work in print. Everyone who enters has a chance to launch themselves on a literary career! We aim to encourage talent, of course - but even the ones who don't win can put on their writing CV that they have been brave, inspired and determined enough to enter a creative writing competition.”

Stories submitted can be a personal account of A fostering experience or an inspirational tale that needs to be told. Entries can be fiction, non-fiction, written or even drawn so that all ages can engage with the competition.

Children and young people can visit http://www.youcanfoster.org/competition to find out more and submit their stories which should be no longer than 800 words. The deadline for entries is 5.00pm, Friday November 17th 2017.

Peter Murphy Assistant Executive Director (Children’s Social Care), representing You Can Foster says, "The ‘Inspiring Stories’ competition is about celebrating the creative and ambitious people who are, or have been, in foster care, by giving them the opportunity to tell their story. Not only do we want to hear their voices but we want to share their stories across the region by publishing them online. We hope that this will inspire other young people who are also in foster care. You Can Foster is focused on recruiting foster carers across the North West and Yorkshire to provide local children, teenagers and young adults with a supportive home where they can achieve their dreams and ambitions. We have a real need for more foster carers and we urge anyone who is interested to get in touch with their local authority.”

News - October 2017

YouGov survey reveals an 11% shortfall between people interested in fostering and actually becoming full-time carers.

A recent YouGov poll commissioned by You Can Foster reveals that just 1% of the adult population in Great Britain currently foster a child / children. Yet 12% of adults in Great Britain have never fostered a child but have considered it and may do so in the future.

By having potential carers meet experienced carers, You Can Foster aims to help bridge this startling 11% divide between thought and action and in doing so fill a gap that could help hundreds children receive the love and attention given by Foster Carers.

Fostering is looking after a child or young person who can’t live with their own family. There are a number of reasons they might not be able to live with their family and it can be a very difficult time for the child so they’ll needs lots of support and care. There are around 8255 households across the North of England who foster for their local authority.

Across Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside there are around 11,525 children living in foster care. Local Authorities particularly need to recruit foster carers for certain groups of children including:

  • Brothers and sisters
  • Older children and young people
  • Children from black and ethnic minority backgrounds
  • Children that will be in foster care long term
  • Children who need more specialist care