Cheshire West and Chester Council are using national campaign, Foster Care Fortnight, to highlight the need for more foster carers across the borough.

The number of children coming into local authority care is on the rise both locally and nationally, and the Council would like to see others join the 207 fostering households in Cheshire West.

For the last four years they have worked alongside Halton and Warrington councils as part of a pioneering fostering recruitment collaboration, Foster4. The service aims to recruit more foster carers, provide greater support to existing carers and try to keep more local children with local foster carers, reducing reliance on Independent Fostering Agencies (IFAs).

In west Cheshire, to place a child in foster care with an IFA costs on average three times more than placing a child in foster care with the Council.

Foster Care Fortnight is The Fostering Network's annual campaign to raise the profile of fostering and show how foster care transforms lives.

This year's theme is #FosteringCommunities to celebrate the strength and resilience of fostering communities and all they do to ensure children are cared for and supported to thrive.

On Monday, 9 May Foster4 hosted an afternoon tea event for foster carers to thank them for their incredible support for children in care throughout the pandemic.

As well as this, the Council say they have launched "sector-leading support packages" which provide details of everything from a seven-seater car pool free for foster carers to use at any time, to swimming passes for fostering families as well as equipment and round the clock local out of hours support, all in one place.

Councillor Robert Cernik, Cabinet Member for Children and Families said: "During Foster Care Fortnight, Foster4 will be highlighting the need for more foster carers to join our already established and fantastic community of foster carers.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on fostering, with enquiries down by 43 per cent on the previous year.

"With the shift to homeworking during the pandemic, fostering has become more accessible than ever. If it’s something you’ve thought of, now could be the time to take that first step.

"Supporting our children and young people who need it the most should be everyone’s business. If you think you could take up the extremely rewarding role of becoming a foster carer, please get in touch with Foster4 today and start your journey.

"Alternatively, you can sign up to join the next Foster4 information session being held virtually on 24 May at 6pm. To sign up, please visit the information sessions page on the Foster4 website."

Councillor Margaret Parker, Cheshire West and Chester Council’s member of Foster4, said: "The Foster4 collaboration means that the recruitment process is more efficient and responsive to the needs of foster carers and of course the children and young people in our care.

"Our foster carers play such an important role supporting our children in care and we need even more people across west Cheshire to become foster carers and provide a stable home for local children.

"If you can help in anyway, such as by referring a friend or family member who you know could be a great foster carer, please pass on Foster4’s contact details.

"In doing so, you’ll be playing your part to help ensure children and young people in your area have safe and happy childhoods and more positive futures."

Find out more about the support packages and enquire about becoming a foster carer at or call 01925 444100. You can also find Foster4 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @foster4cheshire.