Leeds urgently needs more foster carers to make a difference to a child’s life.
Leeds City Council is supporting the annual national campaign to raise awareness about the need for more foster carers.
Foster Care Fortnight (16 – 29 May) ‘Fostering: A Time To Care’ is organised by the Fostering Network and this year highlights the invaluable work foster carers do to help vulnerable children and young people in time of need.
Across the UK there is a shortage of foster carers and Leeds is no different. Foster carers are urgently needed for children and young people of all ages so Leeds has recently launched a major carer recruitment campaign ‘Do Something Amazing!’ featured on local radio and across a range of outdoor advertising to call for more people to come forward to find out how they can make a difference to the lives of looked after children in Leeds.
Leeds has many amazing foster carers – foster carers like Kathy (below) who has been a foster carer for 12 years and has supported many children with disabilities and learning difficulties and who is supporting the council’s campaign to recruit more foster carers.
Kathy Louca, a Leeds foster carer said:
“I would encourage anyone thinking about fostering to go for it. It’s not always easy but it is definitely worth it. You are really making a difference in the child’s life and the rewards you get totally outweigh the challenges.”
Kathy, a single carer, works with other foster cares providing a range of specialist services for children with a learning or physical disability - more foster carers are needed for these services as well as carers who are needed across a wide range of other fostering types, including shorter term support for young children and longer, planned permanent support for the over 10’s.
There is no such thing as a typical foster carer – they can be single, married, divorced, employed, unemployed, with or without children of their own. People from diverse backgrounds and all ethnic origins are needed to help children benefit from living with families who share their own culture, language and religion.
The council’s fostering service provides a comprehensive range of training and support for it’s foster carers , including weekly fees and allowances.
Councillor Judith Blake executive board member responsible for children’s services said:
“It is important to remember we are not looking for superheroes; we just want to hear from people who think they may have the time, patience and commitment to help some of the city’s most vulnerable youngsters.
“Foster carers in Leeds make a invaluable contribution to supporting looked after Leeds children and this campaign is a great opportunity to encourage more people to join them. Together we can help transform the lives of children and young people in the city.”
Those interested in finding out more about fostering can register their interest online by visiting www.leeds.gov.uk/fostering or contact 0113 2474747 for advice and an information pack.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713