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New appeal made for foster parents
Experienced parents whose children have flown the nest are being urged to sign up to become foster parents as Bradford Council reveals it costs an estimated £41 million a year to look after children in care.
Latest figures show there are a near record of 890 children being looked after by the authority, of which 627 are being fostered.
It costs £420 per week, or £21,840 a year to look after a child in foster care and £2,000 a week, or £104,000 a year for those in residential care, including building and staff costs.
Last week The Fostering Network charity said that on any one day, there are now 7,500 children living with foster families in Yorkshire and Humberside, with many more coming in and out of care throughout the year.
Statistics show that children aged between eight to 18 are less likely to be adopted or fostered leading to the call for experienced parents to come forward to hep ease the situation.
Dot Jarvis, the assistant director for family placements in Yorkshire for children’s charity Barnardo’s, said: “Those parents who have had their children grown up and left home could help.
“You can change your life, give yourself a new career and look after older children.
“We have children with behavioural difficulties who had a really bad start in life and need a secure peaceful home with boundaries.
“If there are people willing to do that job, we could save a kid’s life, because where else do they go?
Bradford Council’s executive member for children’s services Councillor Ralph Berry backed the call for help, but stressed that the Council’s record stood up well compared to other authorities.
“We need to get more people to foster and adopt and I would urge people to give us a ring,” said.
“This is a challenge we have to rise to and we are doing our bit and it is really important we get as many people to come forward as possible.”
Anyone interested in fostering should call 0870 2408342.