Leaders from all ten councils across Greater Manchester came together at Manchester Central Library to publicly sign the Greater Manchester Fostering Promise.
Led by the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, joined by directors of children’s services, fostering staff and foster carers from across all 10 local councils, the Greater Manchester Fostering Promise officially launched across the city region.
Council’s are committing, through the promise, to create a culture based on trust and loyalty that is caring, respectful and responsive to the needs of our foster carers. It is a clear demonstration of respecting the professional role of a foster carer around the young person, supporting them emotionally, valuing their expertise and helping them develop.
Across Greater Manchester we are committed to creating an environment for foster carers that is built on refreshingly honest communication and unwavering support. We know fostering can be challenging and we recognise the invaluable contribution made by our community of foster carers to provide safe, nurturing homes for Greater Manchester’s children in care.
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “We have a shared mission to make Greater Manchester the best place the grow up in the UK. We want this to be a place where everyone can fulfil themselves to their full potential and that they get the most stable, supportive early part of their life, we recognise we can’t fulfil that mission without our foster carers. “I’m delighted to support this new promise that we’ve brought together as a city-region, with our ten councils playing a part in writing and developing it. It’s great to see those really clear commitments to provide clear and honest support to our foster carers. “It's inspiring to see the work each ten local authorities do in their boroughs, but also how all ten are working together into this collective effort, it’s a good example of how Greater Manchester can add voice and value to the work each of our councils do. This promise, alongside the Fostering Unfiltered campaign and Greater Manchester Fostering Fortnight, is a classic example of where the Greater Manchester Combined Authority can help local councils work better individually and better for us collectively as a city-region. Hopefully with this promise, we will get that message out to people that this is a good place to be a foster carer and make that big contribution to society that we appreciate so much, as that’s how we will change young lives.”
The launch of the Fostering Promise marks the start of the first ever dedicated fostering fortnight for Greater Manchester.
The Greater Manchester Fostering Fortnight will be taking place from Monday 16 October to Sunday 29 October. Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and all 10 Greater Manchester council’s will be shining a light on the real-life experiences of Greater Manchester’s community of over 1,400 foster carers to help local people explore fostering and decide whether it’s right for them. The two weeks will see a drive in activity to celebrate the existing fostering community across Greater Manchester and highlight the importance and value of fostering for your local community.
Stockport foster carer Geoff Durbin, said: “When we foster children we promise to keep them safe and loved in a stable, caring family and for children who've been let down time and time again, promises are massively important to them and when foster carers deliver on these promises, you see wonderful things happen with those children. “It's great to see such bold promises across all ten Greater Manchester authorities. Just like with our children, what we expect now from our fostering services is to deliver on those promises."
GMCA is working alongside all 10 Greater Manchester councils with the Fostering Unfiltered campaign to grow fostering capacity in the region and raise the profile of foster carers' vital role in helping local children and young people to thrive.
Councillor Mark Hunter, Leader of Stockport Council and Greater Manchester Lead for Children and Young People, said: “The fostering promise has been drafted to show our shared commitment to our invaluable foster carers and the vital role they play in supporting children and young people across Greater Manchester. Our Fostering Unfiltered campaign is a good example of our collaboration as a city region on such an important issues but we don’t underestimate the challenge and we feel like the next 12 months are particularly important with the announcement that Greater Manchester has been chosen as a pathfinder areas for the national fostering reforms. “I hope our Fostering Promise shows how much we value our carers in Greater Manchester and if you’ve been thinking about fostering then please contact your local council.”
Fostering Unfiltered has the clear ambition to inspire more people in Greater Manchester, from all walks of life, to become foster carers and provide loving and stable homes to children across the city-region. The campaign embraces the realities of fostering with refreshing honesty and reflects the real lives of existing foster carers by sharing their everyday experiences and challenges.
If you’re interested in fostering, or simply want to find out more about the role, then visit fostering-unfiltered.org and contact your local council.
Article Published: 18/10/2023 16:23 PM