Joining forces in bid to boost foster care

Recruiting: councillors and fostering staff at Southgate, Halifax, for the launch of the fostering campaign
Recruiting: councillors and fostering staff at Southgate, Halifax, for the launch of the fostering campaign
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Councillors have joined forces to help recruit more foster parents.

“We have 300 children in need of fostering and at the moment we have on 90 foster carers,” said Calderdale Council’s Lib Dem leader Coun Janet Battye.

“We really need to double the number for there to be a good choice for children who can’t live with their own families.”

Foster carers are paid between £10,280 and £28,836 a year based on individual circumstances and the needs of the child.

Councillors from all political parties helped to launch the council’s recruitment campaign, providing people in Halifax, Brighouse and Todmorden town centres with information and guidance.

The recruitment campaign is coupled with new a new streamlined application system and greater support for foster parents.

That should reduce 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.

Social care spokeswoman Coun Megan Swift (Lab, Town) said: “Not having enough foster carers often means that children cannot live with the right carers, in their own area, or brothers and sisters may have to live with separate foster families.

“We provide people with the financial support, training and the potential to make a difference in every moment of a child’s life.”

Conservative group leader Stephen Baines (Northowram and Shelf) said: “Through no fault of their own, children and young people can find themselves in need of safe and secure homes and we would like people who feel they can make commitment to get in touch.”

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