Bid to build on foster campaign

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Calderdale Council is stepping up its campaign in their bid to recruit more foster carers.

More than 200 people have asked about becoming fosterers in the last 12 months and the council has recruited more than 70 new carers since launching the campaign in 2012.

However, more people are needed and during Foster Care Fortnight from June 1 to June 14 the council will look for people to foster teenagers and siblings.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet member for children and young people’s services, Coun Colin Raistrick, said: “I’m delighted with the success of our fostering campaign so far, but we’re not going to stop there.

“Fostering makes a massive difference to children and young people, but we know there are certain things that might put people off coming forward. During Foster Care Fortnight we are working to dispel myths, raise awareness of the benefits of fostering and encouraging potential fosterers to get in touch.

“Wherever possible, we want to make sure teenagers don’t have to change schools when they’re approaching important exam times, and that brothers and sisters can stay together. That’s why we want as many people as possible to come forward locally.”

Rachel Joyce and Steve Wootton from Halifax have been fostering for just over a year. They have cared for six young people so far – mainly teenagers.

“It’s been life changing and so rewarding for us. Knowing that we’re helping young people to be safe and happy is a brilliant feeling,” said Steve.

“Fostering teens is so worthwhile. They already have some independence, you can help them make choices at a critical time of their lives, and it’s easier to stay in touch when they have left your care.

“It’s really rewarding to help them develop – at the moment we’re supporting James to choose his school subjects and manage his money. It’s great to hear that our previous foster children are doing so well too, and it feels good that we’ve played a part in their lives.”

When Rachel was made redundant from her job, she was looking for a change.

She said: “I wanted to make a difference to young people who haven’t had the best start in life and knew we could offer a stable and loving home, so fostering was the perfect next step.”

All foster carers with the council receive financial support and training and hard work has been put in to reduce the fostering process from 12 to six months.

To register your interest in becoming a foster carer, visit www.calderdale.gov.uk/fostering or call 01422 288001.