Fostering for Leeds showcased at the Buy Yorkshire event

Business leaders from across Yorkshire will be encouraged to think creatively about how they can help the city recruit and retain foster carers, at a major conference this week.

The Buy Yorkshire Conference is one of the biggest business events in the regional calendar and this year a team from Leeds City Council’s Fostering and Adoption service will be on hand to talk to businesses about how they can support the vital contribution that foster carers make to the local community.

In the extreme cases where the local authority has to take a child into care the costs can be considerable and are much greater if the council has to use private care providers to support those children. So recruiting more carers for the council benefits not only the individual children they support, but also the city as a whole. Supporting this work is also a positive way for businesses to show their commitment to social responsibility and keeping children safe.

Employers from across the city and the region will be encouraged to think about how they can adopt more foster-friendly policies for their employees, raise the profile of foster care at company events and sponsor promotions and opportunities to attract, support and celebrate carers.

The council is keen to attract a wide range of different employers to this initiative as part of the drive to make Leeds a Child Friendly City.

Leeds City Council has been working to make its own HR policies more flexible, revising foster carer allowances and is also working on a corporate offer for carers which uses the council and wider partnership resources to offer further incentives and rewards.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said:

“We urgently need foster carers and adopters to provide happy and secure homes for hundreds of children and young people in Leeds. Businesses have an important role to play in helping us find the people we need as well as looking at how they support existing carers.

“The Buy Yorkshire event is a fantastic opportunity for our fostering and adoption team to speak directly with local businesses and encourage them to get on board, help us recruit some top class foster carers and to help us achieve our aim to become a Child Friendly City.”

Len Cruddas, Chief Executive, Leeds, York & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce:

“If we are to fulfil our ambition to be the best city in the UK then this should include being the best city for children. Business leaders, many of whom will be parents themselves, have a central role to play in this regard.

“Some of our members already have policies in place and are “foster family-friendly employers”, but we would encourage all businesses to be open to conversations on this subject and we can provide support to them in developing appropriate policies for their business”.

The Buy Yorkshire Conference is the North of England’s biggest B2B conference and exhibition and is being held at the Royal Armouries in Leeds on 24 and 25 April 2013.


For media enquiries, please contact:

Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk