Calderdale needs more foster carers, to provide loving family homes for local children and young people and to make new memories that will last a lifetime.
Since autumn 2020, Calderdale Council has seen a significant reduction in the number of people asking about becoming a foster carer.
This Foster Care Fortnight (10 to 23 May), the Council has launched a campaign calling for more people to come forward to offer the support and stability that could transform a fostered child’s life.
The theme of the campaign is ‘Making new memories’. From a family trip to the beach to a child’s first school photo, sharing experiences with a foster child or teenager can help them to flourish and is incredibly rewarding for the foster carer.
The Council is looking for foster carers from a diverse range of backgrounds and has friendly and experienced staff to support them every step of the way. It offers an extensive online training programme, foster carer support groups, one-to-one social worker support and professional development opportunities.
Foster carers receive generous allowances to recognise their skills and to cover their expenses, making fostering an option for anyone looking for a new start.
Cllr Adam Wilkinson, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services, said:
“We want all of Calderdale’s children and young people to have the best possible start in life and to achieve their potential. Living in a safe, secure and nurturing family home is key to this, and we have amazing foster carers and teams giving their all to help achieve this.
“Sadly, the number of people expressing an interest in fostering in Calderdale has fallen over the last few months. It’s important to keep children and young people as close to home as possible, so we’re reaching out to local people who feel they could make a difference to a child or teenager’s life by becoming a foster carer.
“Your call to our fostering team could be the first step in transforming your own life and helping a young person when they need you most. Your love, trust and support could give them the settled life they need to learn, grow and develop. You would be doing one of the most rewarding jobs, receiving great support from our fostering team and making new memories to last a lifetime.”
To find out more about the benefits of fostering in Calderdale and to register your interest, please visit www.calderdale.gov.uk/fostering or call 01422 266020 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).
Joanne and Craig’s story
Joanne and Craig Dye from Calderdale started fostering in their 20s and have children of their own. They said:
“We took our first step 13 years ago and we have not looked back. Providing structure, love and warmth to children and young people has been so rewarding. Family is important to us. It brings us joy to provide our homely environment with children and young people who need it.”
“Fostering has changed our lives for the better. We have learned so much about ourselves, developed great resilience and experienced a lot of love and laughter along the way.
“One of my most treasured memories is hearing the children’s laughter for the first time. No inhibitions, no cares or worries; just genuine happiness and laughter.
“I also love it when a child reaches a goal and they feel the pride in themselves.
“Let’s change lives together. We do that every day through fostering!”
Joanne and Craig’s children said:
“My mum and dad have fostered since I was two years old. I have enjoyed being a big brother to many foster siblings. I know I’ve made a difference to their lives.”
“Being a birth child of foster carers has many rewards. Mainly getting to guide and help the children we care for to have a good life. I’m proud to be a person who contributes positivity to those who need it the most.”
“My foster sister plays games with me and we battle on the computer. I enjoy spending time with her.”