Foster Care Fortnight: Call for more people help transform a young life in Wakefield

Wakefield Council is calling for more residents to become foster carers and transform a young life as it marks their contribution during Foster Care Fortnight.

By Leanne Clarke
Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 9:45 am
Updated Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 9:47 am

The UK’s biggest foster care awareness event runs from May 9 to 22 and is delivered by leading fostering charity, The Fostering Network.

This year’s theme is fostering communities.

In the Wakefield district there are currently 650 children in care and 140 households that are already fostering but more people are needed to give children and young people a home.

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Wakefield Council is calling for more residents to become foster carers and transform a young life as it marks their contribution during Foster Care Fortnight.

Louise, one of the district’s foster carers, said: “I feel extremely privileged to welcome children into my home and create a stable loving environment whilst making memories.

Memories that I hope will last a lifetime for the children and give them recollections of a happy childhood. Memories to look back on and smile.”

Wakefield Council is one of a handful of local authorities that run the ‘Mockingbird’ programme which provides foster carers with a network of people to turn to during difficult times and for social activities.

There are three hubs at present and each one brings together around eight foster families to work with an experienced foster carer who acts as a mentor.

Alison and Tom are one of the 100 plus fostering households.

They said: “It takes a village to care for a child. We’re so lucky to have amazing family, friends, and fellow foster carers who help us on our journey.”

The council has organised two drop-in sessions during Foster Care Fortnight to allow people to find out more about what fostering involves, the benefits to such a rewarding career, and the support available to those who decide to join the fostering community in the district.

These are on Friday, May 13 at Morrisons in The Ridings and Sunday, May 15 inside the Junction 32 Shopping Outlet in Castleford from 11am to 2pm.

Coun Margaret Isherwood, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Wakefield Council, said: “During Foster Care Fortnight we want to celebrate the incredible work our foster carers do and shine a light on the strong bonds and impact created by fostering – both within the fostering community and the wider community around it.

“We want people to see the difference our current foster carers are making to the lives of young people and children with the hope that more people will consider the positive influence they could make by becoming a foster carer themselves.

“We need more people in the district so we can keep children in our care local and close to the communities and people they know.”

Fostering is open to residents, regardless of their marital status, sexuality, religious or cultural background.

Foster carers do not need to own a home or be employed and can be with or without children.

Different types of fostering roles are available. Along with the need for full-time foster carers the council is looking for people who can take on caring responsibilities at short notice or in an emergency, and short-term foster carers.

To find out more visit www.wakefield.gov.uk/fostering or call 0800 197 0320.

Hear more about the impact fostering makes on the community, including from staff, partners, foster carers, and young people themselves using the hashtag #FosteringCommunities at www.facebook.com/roominwakefield/.