Leeds City Council’s fostering team, Foster 4 Leeds in partnership with Kirklees and York Councils’ fostering teams recently hosted a pioneering event, Faith in Fostering.
On Wednesday 10 June, The Carriageworks hosted over 40 foster carers of different faiths who were invited to come together and discuss fostering as a person of faith.
Leeds is fortunate to be a city of great diversity and Foster 4 Leeds is fully committed to finding the right foster family for young people in the region. Children in Leeds come from a variety of different cultural and religious backgrounds and more foster carers of faith would allow for potentially better matches.
People of faith can be some of the most supported foster carers within their religious communities which, in turn, could mean that they are best equipped to give sanctuary to some of the most vulnerable children and young people in Leeds.
Councillor Fiona Venner, Leeds City Council’s Executive Member for Children and Families said:
“I’m incredibly proud of the work we are doing across the city to help ensure the best possible outcomes for all of our children and young people.
“We want Leeds to be the best city for children and young people to grow up in, and part of that ambition involves ensuring that some of our most vulnerable young residents do not miss out on the opportunity to fulfil their potential.
“Foster carers provide safe, secure and loving homes for young people who, for one reason or another, are unable to live with their birth families. In Leeds, we truly value the hard work and determination of our foster carers – they play an amazing and important role in the lives of our children and young people and are a key part of our city’s ‘Outstanding’ Children’s Services.
“Fostering is inclusive and Foster 4 Leeds very much welcomes people of faith to become foster carers. We are always on the lookout for more people who are willing to open up their hearts and homes to some of our most vulnerable children and young people – and by recruiting more foster carers we can help ensure that more have the opportunity to benefit from a stable, loving and supportive family home.
”Collaborators in the Faith in Fostering initiative are Homes for Good (a Christian focused fostering recruitment company) and My Foster Family (a Muslim centric fostering recruitment company). Both have substantial experience of spreading the word about the increasing need for foster carers in their respective religious establishments.
Michelle, a foster carer of Jewish faith said:
“My husband Mark and I have been foster carers for Foster 4 Leeds for 15 years.
“The first child I fostered was Jewish and was someone from our community who we knew. He was a long term fostering placement. Our second foster child was of none Jewish faith, but despite this fitted really well into our family and embraced the Jewish celebrations and even played for a Jewish community youth’s football team despite not being Jewish.
“It doesn’t matter if the children you help are of your own faith because the mutual respect is there and children are children no matter what culture they are from, they still need a loving home.”
If you’d like to know more about fostering or come and talk to someone at an event, please visit www.foster4leeds.co.uk for more information or follow Foster 4 Leeds on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram @LdsFosteringAdv. Rule yourself in, not out.