Bid to build on foster cam­paign

Halifax Courier - - Your Courier - By ian hirst

Calderdale Coun­cil is step­ping up its cam­paign in their bid to re­cruit more foster car­ers. More than 200 peo­ple have asked about be­com­ing fos­ter­ers in the last 12 months and the coun­cil has re­cruited more than 70 new car­ers since launch­ing the cam­paign in 2012.

How­ever, more peo­ple are needed and dur­ing Foster Care Fort­night from June 1 to June 14 the coun­cil will look for peo­ple to foster teenagers and sib­lings.

Calderdale Coun­cil’s Cabi­net mem­ber for chil­dren and young peo­ple’s ser­vices, Coun Colin Raistrick, said: “I’m de­lighted with the suc­cess of our fos­ter­ing cam­paign so far, but we’re not go­ing to stop there.

“Fos­ter­ing makes a mas­sive dif­fer­ence to chil­dren and young peo­ple, but we know there are cer­tain things that might put peo­ple off com­ing for­ward. Dur­ing Foster Care Fort­night we are work­ing to dis­pel myths, raise aware­ness of the benefits of fos­ter­ing and en­cour­ag­ing po­ten­tial fos­ter­ers to get in touch.

“Wher­ever pos­si­ble, we want to make sure teenagers don’t have to change schools when they’re ap­proach­ing im­por­tant exam times, and that broth­ers and sis­ters can stay to­gether. That’s why we want as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble to come for­ward lo­cal- ly.”

Rachel Joyce and Steve Woot­ton from Hal­i­fax have been fos­ter­ing for just over a year. They have cared for six young peo­ple so far – mainly teenagers.

“It’s been life chang­ing and so re­ward­ing for us. Know­ing that we’re help­ing young peo­ple to be safe and happy is a bril­liant feel­ing,” said Steve.

“Fos­ter­ing teens is so worth­while. They al­ready have some in­de­pen­dence, you can help them make choices at a crit­i­cal time of their lives, and it’s eas­ier to stay in touch when they have left your care.

“It’s re­ally re­ward­ing to help them de­velop – at the mo­ment we’re sup­port­ing James to choose his school sub­jects and man­age his money. It’s great to hear that our pre­vi­ous foster chil­dren are do­ing so well too, and it feels good that we’ve played a part in their lives.”

When Rachel was made re­dun­dant from her job, she was look­ing for a change.

She said: “I wanted to make a dif­fer­ence to young peo­ple who haven’t had the best start in life and knew we could of­fer a sta­ble and lov­ing home, so fos­ter­ing was the per­fect next step.”

All foster car­ers with the coun­cil re­ceive fi­nan­cial sup­port and train­ing and hard work has been put in to re­duce the fos­ter­ing process from 12 to six months.

To reg­is­ter your in­ter­est in be­com­ing a foster carer, visit www.calderdale.gov. uk/fos­ter­ing or call 01422 288001.

Hal­i­fax cou­ple Rachel Joyce and Steve Woot­ton

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