Sheffield City Council have appealed for more families to foster during Foster Care Fortnight.
The council are aiming to recruit between 40 and 50 additional people to become foster parents to children in care in Sheffield.
Carly Speechley, Director for Children, Young People and Families at Sheffield City Council, said: “The foster carers in our city do a brilliant job. We need many more people to become foster carers – it’s challenging, but also rewarding, and those that do become fosters carers can and will change lives.”
The council have reminded potential foster carers that people from all backgrounds can foster. Relationship status, ethnicity and employment status do not matter.
Katie Day, Team Manager of the Start Fostering team, said: “There are a lot of myths about fostering, for example many people are unaware that they can foster at weekends or in school holidays, so even if they are working they can get involved.
Talking about how people sometimes deserve a second chance, Katie added: “We recognise that everybody has a past and we look at where they are now.”
Betty Cross, 59, from Parson Cross, who has been a foster carer for the past 34 years, said: “If you’re thinking about fostering, I’d say just got for it, because, despite the challenges, it’s so rewarding.
“I’m proud to do it, especially when I think about all the children I’ve helped over the years. Many of them keep in touch, which is lovely.”
Foster carers’ minimum weekly allowance ranges from £125 – £219, depending on the age of the child and the location which they are fostering from.
According to The Fostering Network, a charity who tries to bring together everyone involved in the lives of fostered children, in 2016 only 42 per cent of foster carers felt their allowance covered the full cost of looking after fostered children.
The charity has set up the Foster Care Fortnight campaign, which runs until Sunday 27 May, to raise the profile of fostering and challenge any misconceptions of the process.
A meeting will be held tonight, 15 May, in Sheffield with the chance to meet the council’s fostering team and existing foster carers at Quaker Meeting House, between 5.45pm-8pm. To register, call Ruth on 0114 273 5075.