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Do you have experience of working with or caring for children? Are you looking for a career with a heart?

Foster in Wigan and through our Deal for Foster Carers we’ll provide comprehensive support and training, competitive payments and a range of incentives.

These include out of hours support, discounted leisure membership for foster families, ticket offers for local sporting events, a transfer bonus for IFA carers joining the Council and more.

What is fostering?

Foster carers look after vulnerable children and young people who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to live with their own birth families. Some children may also have physical or learning disabilities (or both) and need specialist care, others may have suffered abuse or have been temporarily removed from a family in crisis.

At any one time there are around 50 children and young people in need of a loving home and family. Some are groups of siblings that would ideally like to stay together and others need a long term home and stability in their lives.

There are many different types of fostering to suit your lifestyle, from full time specialist to respite. Sometimes you can provide a home to someone for just a few days, weeks or even years. It really depends on you.

Who can foster?

To become a foster carer you can be single, married, living together, male, female, gay, lesbian, working, unemployed or retired. You can own your own house or rent as long as you have a spare bedroom.

You must be over 21 (but there is no upper age limit) and you need to be healthy so will have to have a medical. You also need to have experience of caring for, or working with children and have a good support network of family and friends. 

Most importantly you need a caring nature and the commitment to provide the stable loving home that all children need. We urgently need more foster carers for children of all ages, especially children aged 10+, sibling groups and children with challenging behaviour.

Our Foster Carers

Here’s what foster carer Suzanne Ritchie says about fostering in Wigan:

“I’ve been fostering with Wigan Council with my husband Scott since 2012. Having previously worked in a children’s residential home, I had a great deal of experience in the fostering role. Despite this, I’ve never rested on my laurels and continually strive to further my knowledge and skills. 

Scott and I have never ducked away from a challenge and so far we’ve supported over 20 placements. Some of these have been for children with extremely challenging behaviour who would have likely been placed in residential homes if we had not fostered them.

We’re committed to, and driven by, providing safe and stable placements for children who need them most. We also have two young children of our own and so often have to balance competing responsibilities. This does come with its pressures but we wouldn’t have it any other way.  

We recently supported an eight year old girl who was initially placed with us on a two week interim basis. However, there were subsequent problems with the longer term placement and the girl remained with us for over nine months. This may not sound too out of the ordinary in the context of fostering but the girl had already been in over 10 placements due to her behaviour. This also meant that we were unable to support multiple placements despite this being something we very much wanted to do

Rather than focus on our own needs we recognised that further disruption and instability would cause untold emotional damage to this girl and we remained steadfast in supporting her to a longer term placement. This meant having to weather a storm of challenging behaviour from the child, as well as the frustrations of our own children.  

It’s quite intimidating making the first step and enquiring about fostering, but being a foster carer is so rewarding.”

Interested to find out more? Visit www.wigan.gov.uk/fostering or call 01942 487200.

There are also open meetings on the first Wednesday of every month from 6pm – 7pm at Progress House, Westwood Park, Wigan WN3 4HH. No booking required.