Thursday, 25 October 2012

Businesses asked to ‘foster’ an advert to help recruit more foster carers

Leeds businesses are being called upon to help in a recruitment drive to attract more foster carers to look after some of Leeds’ most vulnerable children. 

As part of a major campaign called Foster4Leeds, Leeds City Council has launched a new initiative to involve businesses and other organisations in encouraging more people to consider becoming a foster carer.

The ‘Foster a Banner’ campaign has been launched to spread the message to as wide an audience as possible and encourages local organisations, companies and website owners to ‘foster’ or ‘adopt’ a banner advertisement, and place it on their own websites.

Each organisation or individual can download an online ad in a range of sizes and then upload it to their site.  The advertisements can be ‘fostered’ for as long or as short a period as deemed appropriate.

Leeds City Council urgently needs more local authority foster carers to make a real difference to the lives of children and young people in the city.  There are currently over 1430 children in the care of Leeds City Council, but there are not enough foster carers to look after them all.

Through Foster4Leeds, the council is now asking website owners to spread the word for those children across the city that are in real need of a safe and loving home.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member for children's services said:
  “To achieve our ambition to become a Child Friendly City we need businesses across the city to get on board and show their support. What better way than helping us recruit some top class foster carers for children who need a safe and loving home.

“This campaign is an innovative idea to get this important message to as wide an audience as possible and a way the city’s businesses, organisations, website owners and bloggers can do their bit for children in care.”

Leeds children’s services has set itself the ambitious target of recruiting 200 new foster carers over the next two years to meet the needs of its looked after children population, replace retiring foster carers and reduce the use of private agencies.

There is currently an urgent demand for carers who can foster babies and young children; these carers need to be able to foster full time, be non-smokers and have a spare bedroom. 

There is no such thing as a typical foster carer. Leeds City Council welcomes enquiries from people of all religions, races, genders and sexuality.  Foster carers can be married, single, in a relationship, divorced, widowed, employed or unemployedFoster carers sometimes work part-time or full-time, however working arrangements must be child and family friendly.

The council has two dedicated fostering support teams and carers have access to professional training and qualifications.  There are also opportunities to diversify into other childcare work. 

By working for Leeds City Council carers will help ensure all the available funding for fostering goes towards children and young people and that Leeds children are fostered in their home city, which at times can help them remain in their local school and community. 

Organisations, businesses, sports teams, bloggers and any web site owners in the region can learn more and easily download their banner here:

The main Foster4Leeds website is at  providing information and guidance for those interested in becoming foster carers or adopters in Leeds.

In addition, Leeds City Council has recently launched social media profiles for Foster4Leeds:

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

Last chance to save £300 on fuel bills

The Wrap Up Leeds team are poised to answer a flurry of last minute calls before the scheme closes to new applications.

With the hotline shutting down from 5pm on Friday 26 October the team expect people to be making a last dash for their free insulation.

The funding for all free insulation schemes ends soon, so this is the last chance people have to get their cavity walls or lofts insulated at no cost.

Energy assessors have been knocking on the last few doors in Wetherby, Adel, Wharfedale, Guiseley and Rawdon to make sure no one misses out hundreds of pounds worth of savings on their fuel bills.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment, said:

“All good things must come to an end, and unfortunately, the Wrap Up Leeds hotline will be wrapping up tomorrow.

“If people haven’t called yet, then they need to pick up the phone now.”

Councillor David Blackburn, chair of the council’s cross-party environment and climate change working group, said:

“This really is the last chance saloon. If you think you, or any friends or family, could benefit from a warmer home, then please call the team while you still can.”

Estimates from the Energy Saving Trust show that an average three-bedroom semi-detached property can save up to £300 a year once fully wrapped up with insulation.

Call 0800 052 0071 or register at before 5pm on Friday 26 October.

For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577