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Boost of more than £1.2m funding for foster care recruitment

Lancashire County Council is one of five local authorities, along with Blackburn with Darwen, Cumberland Council, Westmorland and Furness Council and Blackpool Council, who were successful in a regional bid for Department for Education funding to become a pathfinder for the Regional Fostering Recruitment and Retention Hub.

The Pathfinder has been awarded £1.2m and will help others learn how to successfully implement regional approaches, nationally.

The hub will act as a first point of contact for those interested in fostering. Over the next two years, the government has pledged to deliver a fostering recruitment and retention programme so foster care is available for more children who need it.

Blackburn with Darwen Council is the lead local authority (LAs) and will collaborate with the other LAs to tackle a foster carer recruitment crisis in the North West and provide stable family homes to more children.

Councillor Julie Gunn, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s executive member for Children, Young People and Education, said: “We welcome this funding announcement from the government and are excited to act as the lead agency to partner with other local authorities in the North West.

"With declining foster carer numbers and an increase in need for stable homes for our most vulnerable children, we really need an initiative to encourage more people into foster care.

"We hope that this collaboration in foster care recruitment will support, enable and empower our foster carers to care for all our children in loving family homes.”

Councillor Cosima Towneley, Lancashire County Council's cabinet member for Children and Families said: "The needs of the children in our care is our greatest priority and we welcome the £1.2m funding for the hub, which will be used to boost foster care recruitment.

"We'd love to hear from anyone who would like to take up fostering. It makes a real difference to a young person or child's life. Anyone can become a foster carer. It's the greatest gift that you can give to any child or young person. Please call us to find out more."

To find out more about fostering with Lancashire County Council, and the generous package of support and training, visit or call the team on 0300 123 6723.

The hub’s aim will be to build upon regional relationships to achieve a shared vision for foster care.

Launching by April 2024, it will also help carers make an informed choice about how fostering could work for them and to guide them through the approval process.