Due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19, Foster4Leeds, Leeds City Council’s fostering service, are urgently seeking to increase the number of foster carers available to care for children and young people throughout the city.

The council works extremely hard to continually recruit local foster carers. The number of families fostering with Foster4Leeds has grown substantially during the last decade and is currently at the highest it’s ever been. However, the number of children and young people needing foster placements continues to rise across the UK and more foster carers are needed at both a local and national level.

Foster4Leeds are appealing to anyone who is considering becoming a foster carer to please get in touch. In Leeds there is currently a shortage of foster carers for children aged 11+, sibling groups and disabled children specifically.

Fostering helps to improve the lives of children and young people by providing a loving home when they are most in need. There are many different reasons why a child may be placed into foster care and the council is committed to working with families to provide the best outcome for children in care. By fostering with Leeds City Council, children are able to remain local to the area they know, attend the same school and maintain links with their family and friends. It also ensures that the council’s financial resources are used to directly support vulnerable young people in the community.

Councillor Fiona Venner, Executive Member for Children and Families for Leeds City Council said: “If you live in Leeds or nearby, please consider making a difference to the life of a young person by fostering with Foster4Leeds. There are numerous types of fostering options to choose from, so you are sure to find one that fits with your lifestyle. We support carers throughout every step of their fostering journey, preparing them for what is involved and offering a full range of support, training and advice.”

Foster4Leeds are a 100% not-for-profit organisation and offer a fantastic range of benefits for foster carers. This includes free gym membership to all Active Leeds gyms, of which over 900 foster carers and children have used, free day trips and residential breaks, free access to a luxury holiday lodge, free access and discounts to local attractions and many more benefits. The council also offers a comprehensive training package and support, including free counselling services. Financial support is given to all foster carers made up of a weekly allowance and a weekly fee.

Rachel Charlton, a current foster carer with Foster4Leeds said: “Fostering is without a doubt one of the most rewarding and fulfilling things I’ve ever done and I couldn’t be more grateful to Leeds City Council for the support they’ve given me over the years. The team are always there to offer friendly help and advice. I feel part of an amazing community and have a strong support network around me to help with anything I need.”

To find out more about fostering with Foster4Leeds, please visit Foster4Leeds.co.uk or phone 0113 378 3538.