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Published : 25/10/2012 00:00

Businesses asked to 'foster an advert' to help recruit more foster carers

Leeds businesses are being called upon to help in a recruitment drive to attract more foster carers to look after some of Leeds’ most vulnerable children. 

As part of a major campaign called Foster4Leeds, Leeds City Council has launched a new initiative to involve businesses and other organisations in encouraging more people to consider becoming a foster carer.

The ‘Foster a Banner’ campaign has been launched to spread the message to as wide an audience as possible and encourages local organisations, companies and website owners to ‘foster’ or ‘adopt’ a banner advertisement, and place it on their own websites.

Each organisation or individual can download an online ad in a range of sizes and then upload it to their site.  The advertisements can be ‘fostered’ for as long or as short a period as deemed appropriate.

Leeds City Council urgently needs more local authority foster carers to make a real difference to the lives of children and young people in the city.  There are currently over 1430 children in the care of Leeds City Council, but there are not enough foster carers to look after them all.

Through Foster4Leeds, the council is now asking website owners to spread the word for those children across the city that are in real need of a safe and loving home.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member for children's services said:

 “To achieve our ambition to become a Child Friendly City we need businesses across the city to get on board and show their support. What better way than helping us recruit some top class foster carers for children who need a safe and loving home.

“This campaign is an innovative idea to get this important message to as wide an audience as possible and a way the city’s businesses, organisations, website owners and bloggers can do their bit for children in care.”

Leeds children’s services has set itself the ambitious target of recruiting 200 new foster carers over the next two years to meet the needs of its looked after children population, replace retiring foster carers and reduce the use of private agencies.

There is currently an urgent demand for carers who can foster babies and young children; these carers need to be able to foster full time, be non-smokers and have a spare bedroom. 

There is no such thing as a typical foster carer. Leeds City Council welcomes enquiries from people of all religions, races, genders and sexuality.  Foster carers can be married, single, in a relationship, divorced, widowed, employed or unemployed.  Foster carers sometimes work part-time or full-time, however working arrangements must be child and family friendly.

The council has two dedicated fostering support teams and carers have access to professional training and qualifications.  There are also opportunities to diversify into other childcare work. 

By working for Leeds City Council carers will help ensure all the available funding for fostering goes towards children and young people and that Leeds children are fostered in their home city, which at times can help them remain in their local school and community. 

Organisations, businesses, sports teams, bloggers and any web site owners in the region can learn more and easily download their banner here: http://fosterabanner.foster4leeds.co.uk/.

The main Foster4Leeds website is at www.foster4leeds.co.uk  providing information and guidance for those interested in becoming foster carers or adopters in Leeds.

In addition, Leeds City Council has recently launched social media profiles for Foster4Leeds:
Twitter.com/foster4leeds
Facebook.com/foster4leeds
Youtube.com/foster4leeds

ENDS
For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713
Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk