A CAMPAIGN to encourage Kirklees families to consider foster caring has been hailed a success.
But officials say more people are still needed to look after children coming into foster care.
Kirklees Council has heard from 160 people interested in taking up the fostering role since launching the campaign on January 24, which is more than double the number of enquiries they would normally receive.
The council’s recruitment team has been working with each one to see whether fostering is right for them, and if so, to help guide them through the training and recruitment process over the next few months.
This campaign has been supported by a range of advertising, plus digital media activity, information events headed up by local foster carers and an opportunity to hear the real life story of Spen Valley woman, Colleen Callaghan who has fostered 65 children in just three years.
There is a chronic shortage of foster carers in England. There are currently more then 350 children and young people from Kirklees in foster care. Over 100 are placed with foster families outside the area because there is a shortage of local carers which can be very distressing for the children and their families.
Lucy Kirby, Recruitment Officer for the Family Placement Unit said: “Since the campaign began the response from local people has been overwhelming.
“We’ve had 160 enquiries, resulting in 50 people wanting to pursue their interest in fostering and provide vital support and care for vulnerable local children.
“It’s really encouraging to see that enquiries are increasing but we are still faced with a shortage of carers, in particular people who can look after teenagers and siblings, so we would like to continue urging local people to get in touch if they think they can help.
“There’s no such thing as a typical foster carer – we need people from all communities and backgrounds to consider taking up this vital role.”
Simon Cale, chief executive of Huddersfield charity National Children’s Centre, said: “Foster carers make all the difference to children and young people at a difficult time in their lives.”
For further information on becoming a foster carer visit www.kirklees.gov.uk/fostering or call 0800 389 0086.