INTEREST in fostering has more than doubled since an ambassador scheme was launched earlier this year.

Foster Care Ambassadors have helped drive up enquiries to the local authority to around 50 per month.

The scheme, which was formally launched in February, gives the opportunity for trained foster carers in Bury to promote fostering and recruit carers within their community.

Susan Harris from strategic lead placement services explained how the scheme works and why it has been so successful.

She said: “They go out in the community, because they know what it’s like to be a carer, promoting fostering on a personal level. Those who want to go forward are given a pack of information. We’ve seen a huge increase in enquiries since the Foster Carer Ambassador scheme launched."

In the month after the scheme was rolled out, enquiries shot up to 59.

Since then figures have remained high, reaching 44 in June. This is up from an average of 16 enquiries per month in 2018.

Councillors were told that the fostering services is the largest resource when finding places for children the council looks after.

Out of 343 children currently in care, 233 are placed with foster carers.

There are currently 71 general foster carers in the borough and 48 foster carers who are related to or friends of the child's family.

The safeguarding sub-committee, which met last week, was also told that the number of ambassadors has fallen from nine to seven.

Cllr Susan Southworth, who chaired the meeting, has been a member of the panel which oversees fostering in Bury for 15 years.

She said: “It always strikes me how impressive these people are. It takes the best part of 12 months to do all the training and the allocation process. A lot of the people that come forward have grown up themselves in fostering families. It’s just what they are used to. It’s absolutely amazing.”

For more information visit, call 0800 9555 311, or email