WELCOME to our new series of features designed to inform and inspire our readers about becoming foster carers with their Local Authority in Cheshire.

There are many reasons why someone becomes a foster carer, but the one we hear about most is that they want to make a difference to the lives of children and young people.

In the coming months, we will be working with Foster4, Cheshire’s pioneering Local Authority foster carer recruitment service, to highlight how you too, could develop a rewarding, home-based career, and make a real difference to the childhoods of children and young people in your community.

Foster4 recruits and supports foster carers on behalf of three Cheshire local authorities: Cheshire West and Chester Council, Halton Borough Council and Warrington Borough Council.

Foster4 is proud of its exceptional reputation for creating strong local communities of foster carers, who provide unfaltering care for local children and young people from aged 0-18.

Being a Local Authority, not-for-profit service, Foster4 and the three Local Authority fostering services are acutely focussed on matching the needs of the child or young person to the most appropriate carers.

This is made possible by ensuring their carers are exceptionally well trained, supported and rewarded, and crucially, by knowing them and the children well.

Foster4’s dedicated recruitment team are on hand to support those thinking of fostering every step of the way, from providing answers to those initial burning questions, to giving advice about what it takes to care for children, the training, support and allowances you will receive and much more.

Throughout the coming months, we will working with the team to unpick these questions, providing a wealth of information and insight into the world of fostering in Cheshire - and also celebrating our current local carers and promoting new initiatives. All with the aim of informing and hopefully inspiring you to become Cheshire’s foster carers of the future.

We will be exploring areas including:

  •  Can I foster?

There are very few barriers to becoming a foster carer. Readers will gain insight into what makes a great carer.

  •  How to become a foster carer:

Some people are put off by what they believe to be a long and complex fostering assessment process. Our bespoke features will aim to make the process as transparent as possible and highlight just how efficient it can be. Foster4 aim to have you approved within as little as just eight weeks!

  • The benefits of fostering:

From free training to a 24/7 duty team, pool cars for hire, council tax incentives, weekly allowances, holiday payments, free children’s festival tickets, celebration events and award ceremonies.

We’ll be showcasing Foster4’s extensive reward package. Foster carers cannot pour from an empty cup, so Foster4 ensure carers have the tools to succeed from day one.