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Appeal for parents to ease region's fostering crisis
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 £41m 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.
Statistic 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: “I have worked for Bradford for a lot of years and it is the job of society to help these children grow up.
“If they haven’t got parents who can do that for them, we should be trying our best. The longer a child remains without a secure and loving family, the less secure they feel.
“If we don’t feel secure we panic. All these horrible feelings we have, these kids have them every single day.
“All that horrible gut-wrenching feeling all the time, knowing that nobody wants them.
“We are not getting people coming forward for those aged eight to 18 and it is critical we get people.
“Those parents who have had their children, grown up and left home, could help.
“If I had 20 foster carers I could place them in a fortnight. That is how many children we have.”
Bradford Councillor Ralph Berry said: “We know we need to continue getting more people to foster and adopt and I would urge people to give us a ring. It is really important we get as many people to come forward as possible.”
Anyone interested in fostering should call 0870 240 8342.