You can become a foster carer and we want to help you be one - that's the message coming from Fostering North Yorkshire as it continues to recruit people to foster the children who need the support of the care system.
Fostering North Yorkshire (FNY) is part of North Yorkshire County Council and has an impressive record of placing local children and young people in care with local foster families. More than 300 children are looked after by FNY's foster carers every year, but FNY needs to recruit a number of new carers this spring and summer to replace those that are retiring after years of dedicated service.
Foster carers find that fostering is an immensely rewarding experience. Fostering with FNY also brings with it generous tax-free payments and allowances, and while this is not the main motivation for most foster carers, additional income streams can be very welcome. For example, an accredited foster carer receives more than £300 each week tax-free for fostering a child aged 11 to 15, equivalent to £15,785 per annum (example is based on a 52-week placement).
Pete Dwyer, North Yorkshire's Corporate Director of Children and Young People's Services, said: "If you're interested in fostering, you really can do it and we're here to help you. Our foster carers come from a wide range of backgrounds and family make-up, but what they all have in common is their desire to provide a secure and welcoming home for some of the county's most vulnerable children".
"People often think they can't foster because they are single, work or are too old, but none of these things matter. We're looking for people who have space in their home - and their heart - for a young person and can offer them a positive and loving home environment. Please get in touch with FNY to find out how you can start your fostering journey now with us".
FNY is a member of You Can Foster, a consortium of local authority fostering services across Yorkshire and the North West. At the start of Foster Care Fortnight in May the consortium held an information event in Leeds and Alison, one of FNY's experienced carers went along to share her experiences of fostering with FNY and why she chose to foster with her local authority.
Alison said: "I used to place children as part of my job and had to read stories about what these children had been through. It's so important that when they go in a foster placement they can stay near to their homes where possible. Local Authorities fostering services make that easy and it means children can still see their families, go to the same school and keep the same friends.
"Fostering with FNY means you get really good support and advice. You might go for a long time without needing anything but they're always there when you do - they fit in around your needs and that of the foster child and they are always at the end of the phone. Really think about it for your family, find out more, have a chat to somebody, talk about your circumstances - you won't know until you try."
To find out more about the types of foster care needed in North Yorkshire please call FNY on 01609 534654 or visit our website for more information.