GM foster carer doing building and decorating work in a room
children Young People early years

Greater Manchester fostering scheme wins national award

Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s ‘Room Makers’ scheme has won ‘The Children in Care Award’ at the Children and Young People Now Awards.

‘Room Makers’ provides funding and support for Greater Manchester foster carers who want to renovate existing spare rooms in order to foster more children across 10 local authorities in the region.

As part of the scheme, 26 new bedrooms have been renovated and made available to support children and young people in need of foster placements across Greater Manchester.

Councillor Mark Hunter, Greater Manchester portfolio lead for children and young people, and leader of Stockport Council, said: “We are delighted to see this innovative project win this award. Here in Greater Manchester we pride ourselves on doing things differently and this project really gets to the heart of that approach. Our foster carers are amazing people and we want to be able to provide opportunities to provide more stable and loving homes for local children in care who really need them.

This is another key piece of work that we’re delivering as part of our innovation in fostering, alongside our Fostering Unfiltered campaign, we’re working hard to not only get more people to foster with us, but to also support our current foster carers through a variety of programmes like this and Mockingbird.”

Fostering Unfiltered sees all 10 Greater Manchester council’s come together with Greater Manchester Combined Authority to promote fostering across the city region, celebrate our fostering community and provide honest and unfiltered information on the role of fostering.

Bernie Brown, director of children’s services at Bolton Council and Greater Manchester lead for children in care, said: “This award is great recognition for the innovative scheme but importantly it highlights how wonderful our Greater Manchester foster carers are that so many of them want to support more local children and young people in care, their dedication is incredible and I hope this brings more people forward into fostering with their local council.”

Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the 10 Greater Manchester local council’s are exploring options to expand the Room Makers scheme in 2024 and will be in contact with foster carers about this in due course.

There was more success for council’s in Greater Manchester at the awards as Salford City Council won ‘The Family Support Award’ for their Strengthening Families programme which supports parents who have been separated from their children. The programme provides a long-term package of support and tracked 40 families two, three and four years after they graduated from the programme and found that four-fifths have never had further social care involvement. Of 13 babies born in 2022 whose families were involved in the programme, 12 remain with their parents.

The programme was also a finalist in the ‘Early Intervention Award’.

Wigan Youth Zone won ‘The Children and Young People’s Charity Award’ for the opportunities they provide to young people, helping them access a range of services including adrenaline-pumping activities, to speak to youth workers in one-to-one mentoring sessions, or to discuss mental health concerns with wellbeing workers. Last year, Wigan Youth Zone delivered 9,500 hours of support across 77 square miles, offering free bus pick-ups, satellite youth clubs, and street-based engagement with young people every night.

If you’re interested in fostering with your local council then contact their fostering team and find out more about fostering for Greater Manchester at

Article Published: 07/12/2023 09:58 AM