01 Feb 2024
Watch: Local foster carers front drive to find more loving homes for Leeds children
“Fostering’s a bit of a roller coaster but I wouldn’t change it for a minute”
People who have recently begun their journey into foster care with Foster4Leeds are urging others to get in touch with the service if they’ve ever considered fostering a child.
Reflecting on their journeys into foster care and their experience so far, a number of foster carers have come together to demonstrate the range of backgrounds Foster4Leeds carers come from, the different types of foster care people can offer through the council depending on their circumstances, and the invaluable support they get from the Foster4Leeds service.
Joanna offers both short term and long term foster care, she said:
“Since I was quite young, I always wanted to foster. I firmly agree that fostering with the local authority is best for the children, it means they can remain living in Leeds and they can stay at the same school.
“The assessment process for becoming a foster carer with Foster4Leeds is really good. I had lovely assessing social workers. They gave me plenty of information and the opportunity to make my own mind up about it.
“Fostering’s a bit of a roller coaster but I wouldn’t change it for a minute. There are difficult times but it’s really rewarding.”
Nick and Janine both work full time and would eventually like to offer full time foster care. They currently provide supported lodgings, which is supporting young people aged 16 and over who are either in care or unaccompanied asylum seekers, prepare for independent living.
“My partner and I thought that we wouldn’t be able to do fostering because we both work full time, so we contacted Foster4Leeds because we’d heard they do different types of fostering.
“I don’t want people to hesitate to pick up the phone or fill in the interest form because you need to find out more information. If you’re interested in fostering, it’s just that first step forward.”
Foster4Leeds is Leeds City Council’s dedicated fostering service. While over 700 people already foster with the service, there are currently 255 children and young people place in expensive external provision, often outside of the Leeds area.
When the council is unable to place a child with their own foster carers, This also means the child is more likely to have to move out of the local area, further away from their birth families, friends and schools.
Councillor Fiona Venner, Leeds City Council’s executive member for adult and children’s social care and health partnerships, said:
“Foster4Leeds is a 100% not-for-profit organisation that is committed to providing the best outcomes for looked after children in Leeds, including ensuring they are kept close to their birth families, friends, and school. Fostering comes in many forms and there is a type of fostering suitable for everyone, ranging from temporary care every once in a while, to longer-term placements.
“We welcome applications from any ethnic background, religion, and sexuality. It doesn’t matter if you are married, single or divorced, a homeowner or living in a rental property, in work or retired. All that matters is that you can give your time to help a child.
“I would urge anyone who is considering becoming a foster carer to get in touch with the Foster4Leeds team to find out what support they might be able to offer.”
Foster4Leeds provides a wealth of financial and emotional support, including a dedicated social worker and access to training.
Anyone who would like to find out more about fostering with Foster4Leeds can hear from foster carers at www.leeds.gov.uk/foster4leeds/carers
Notes to editors:
The Foster4Leeds team will be in the following locations during the remainder of January and February.
January 29th - Beeston Hub – 2-4pm
January 31st – Bramley Hub – 9.30-11.30am
February 6th – Kippax Hub – 12.30-2.30pm
February 7th – Seacroft Hub – 2-4pm
February 19th – Dewsbury Road Hub – 2.30-4.30pm
February 21st – Pudsey Hub – 10.00-12.00
February 27th – Compton Hub – 11.30-1.30
February 28th – Armley Hub – 11-1.00
For media enquiries contact:
Leeds City Council Communications team