A newly commissioned YouGov survey reveals an 11 per cent shortfall between people interested in fostering and actually becoming full-time carers
The survey, commissioned by You Can Foster the North of England-based fostering campaign to which City of York Council belongs, reveals that of all UK adults 12 per cent have considered or are considering fostering a child but currently, only one per cent actually become full-time carers.
The campaign running during Foster Care Fortnight (8-21 May) aims to encourage the 11 per cent of people who are interested, to take the next step, become foster carers and create 25 much-needed new homes in York where children can receive the love and attention they need.
Foster carer Karen Wortley has looked after about 70 children and young people in York over 11 years. “I’d always wanted six kids but sadly that didn’t happen, so we thought we’d adopt. But we tried fostering first and enjoyed it so much that we’ve carried on.
“I’ve given a home to babies, teenagers and emergency placements from a few hours to seven years and regularly give short breaks for a disabled child alongside caring for three teenagers including Amy.
“It’s so rewarding. People I’ve fostered who are now in their 20s still ring up or call round. It’s such a lovely feeling to know I’m the first person they want to share things with. Fostering is so worthwhile – I’d always recommend it.”
Eoin Rush, assistant director of children’s services at City of York Council, said: “We are committed to placing our children and young people in York in high quality foster care and matching them with carers who will help them settle and thrive.
“To ensure we have enough good quality carers like Karen and to replace those who move away or retire, we want to recruit another 25 foster carers to give our children and young people – like Amy – the best possible chances in life.
“There are a number of myths around fostering which are stopping people taking the next step; people thinking they’re too old, that they won’t get the support they need, that their sexuality, employment or marital status makes a difference to their chances of fostering. Call us to chat through how you can help and how we support you.”
Fostering is looking after a child or young person who can’t live with their own family for a number of reasons. This can be a very difficult time for the child who’ll need lots of support and care.
In York, foster carers are needed for children including:
- Brothers and sisters
- Children needing long-term foster care
- Children who need specialist care because of additional needs.
If you think you could give a child or young person a loving, stable home please call 01904 555333 or visit www.york.gov.uk/fostering and we’ll support you every step of the way.