Leeds City Council means business in search for foster carers

Councillor Judith Blake.
Councillor Judith Blake.
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Businesses in Leeds are being called upon to help in a recruitment drive to attract more foster carers to look after some of the city’s most vulnerable children.

The “Foster a Banner” initiative 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.

The council urgently needs more foster carers. There are currently over 1,430 children in the care of the authority but there are not enough foster carers to look after them all.

Council bosses expect to spend about £12m this year on placing children with independent foster agencies.

The online advertising initiative is part of the Foster4Leeds campaign.

Coun 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 a target of recruiting 200 new foster carers over the next two years to 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.

Businesses, sports teams, bloggers and any web site owners in the region can download their banner at http://fosterabanner.foster4leeds.co.uk/ or Foster4Leeds at: www.foster4leeds.co.uk

Cori Braham.

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