‘Ton up’ for foster care recruitment

MORE than 100 people have asked the council about how they can become foster carers since a new recruitment campaign began at the end of January.

During the same period last year, there were just 22 enquiries.

The whole system for interviewing and appointing foster parents has been streamlined by Calderdale Council.

The new procedure has reduced the expected average time it takes for someone from making an initial enquiry to actually becoming a foster carer to six months – the previous average was 12 months.

Children’s social care spokeswoman, Coun Megan Swift, said people had responded magnificently to the recruitment campaign.

“We know that there are many people out there who can offer some of our most vulnerable children and young people the safe, loving environments that they need.

“The way in which we have transformed fostering in Calderdale means we can make the whole process of actually becoming a foster carer much easier and we can offer greater support in the future.”

Council leader, Janet Battye, said: “The response to our campaign has been marvellous, with more than 100 people telling us that they are seriously thinking about fostering and are keen to find out more.

“In Calderdale we have 300 children in need of fostering and at the moment we have 90 foster carers – we really need to double the number of our own foster carers for there to be a good choice for those children who can’t live with their own families.”

Conservative group leader Stephen Baines, said: “Many children find themselves in need of the help and support only available in secure and loving homes.

“Through no fault of their own, children and young people can find themselves in need of safe and secure homes and we have been appealing for people who feel they can make commitment to get in touch. The response so far has been tremendous, but we still need more people to get in touch.”

Foster carers currently receive payments that range between £10,280 and £28,836 per year based on individual circumstances and the needs of the child they care for.

Anyone who is interested in becoming a foster carer should contact the council on 0845 245 6000 or visit Calderdale.gov.uk/fostering.