Help and support

Why foster in Wigan?

If you foster in Wigan you will have access to a fantastic support package designed to ensure that you’re fully prepared to become a foster carer and ready to meet the needs of different children. Through the ‘Deal for Foster Carers’ we’ll provide:

  • Extensive training opportunities to support carers with their fostering placements
  • Competitive weekly allowances and exclusive rewards
  • Round the clock support and advice, including home visits, support groups and mentoring.

A breakdown of our support package includes:

Financial allowances and rewards

  • A generous weekly allowance ranging from £195 to £586 per child per week, depending on the age and needs of the child, and the skills and experience of the foster carer(s)
  • Additional allowances for birthdays and Christmas
  • Annual celebration event to honour your commitment and hard work
  • Max Card discounts - Offering discounted admission to venues across the UK
  • Grand Arcade vouchers for long serving carers - you’ll receive £250 after 5 years, £500 after 10 years, £750 after 15 years and up to £1000 after 20 years (alternative local voucher options may be available to carers that do not access Wigan town centre)
  • Carers receive £250 if they recommend someone who goes on to be approved, and a further £250 when that person takes their first placement
  • Discounted leisure membership (external link) - Foster carers pay just £30 a month for two adults and their birth children living at the same address to access the Council’s leisure facilities. Foster children are able to access leisure facilities for free. If you’re interested in signing up, contact Katy Beesley at Robin Park Arena on 01942 828550
  • A range of exclusive benefits and discounts for high street shops, savings schemes and discounted products with the Council’s My Rewards scheme, where you can save up to £1000 per year on practically everything. As a foster carer with us you will receive a personal number via post or email, enabling you to register for the benefits
  • Transfer bonus for IFA carers - They will receive a one off lump sum of £500 per household once they’re approved as Wigan Council foster carers. See our step-by-step guide for IFA carers interested in transferring to Wigan Council.

Training

  • Training before and after you’ve been approved - Our extensive training programme is renowned across the North West and includes Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE), dealing with challenging behaviours, caring for children with attachment difficulties, Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent WRAP (Radicalisation), Celebrating Differences: Newly Arrived, Refugees and those seeking Asylum (NARA) and Practical Attachment Strategy for Carers (PASC)
  • We also have access to over 200 courses and e-learning that you can complete at home, as well as training sessions for birth children.

For a full list of training opportunities see our training schedule or contact Karen Goodwill on 01942 487238 for specific training requests.

Support

  • Comprehensive support including a duty worker throughout the day, round the clock advice, out of hours advice line run by The View - see further details, support groups and mentoring to link up with other carers, respite for carer or young people during difficult periods and support worker visits outside the 9-5 core hours. If you would like to speak to the fostering team about the out of hours support you can call 01942 487202 or contact The View directly on 01942 257479
  • Childcare to help you attend training, reviews or medical appointments if existing arrangements fall through
  • A regular foster carer newsletter keeping you up to date on key developments
  • Activity sessions for birth children throughout the year to show our appreciation and an opportunity to meet ‘other children who foster’
  • When it comes to counselling services, Wigan Council foster carers will receive the same support as employees of the council. For further details you can call 0800 030 5182 (free phone) or visit the Health Assured website (external link). This is additional to those services already offered by the fostering service including support in the event of illness or bereavement, flood advice and guidance
  • Support and advice from the Educational Psychology Service - For further details contact our fostering team
  • Additional priority on the housing register, irrespective of whether it is a short or long term placement. For further details and to see if you're eligible contact our fostering team
  • The Mockingbird Family Model - An extended network of family support offering an alternative way of providing foster care and involves carers being part of a group with other foster carers. Find out more about the Mockingbird Family Model.
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