Council calls for more foster carers in the Wakefield district

03/10/2018, PR8891

Wakefield Council has teamed up with inspirational local man, Jono Lancaster, in its call for more people to become foster carers in the Wakefield district.

Jono Lancaster, age 33 from Normanton, is a keen supporter of the Wakefield Fostering Service as he was fostered by a single carer living in Featherstone, shortly after his birth. He was born with Treacher Collins Syndrone – a condition that affects the development of bones and other tissues of the face. His parents felt unable to give him the support that he needed, and he was taken into care. Jono now dedicates his time to help others with facial differences and has set up the Love Me, Love My Face Foundation.

After seeing a billboard advertising the Council’s local fostering service, Jono said: “It instantly brought a smile and a little tear. I was once fostered which lead to having a forever family.” Jono was fostered until he was five years old, when his foster carer decided to adopt him.

Foster carers provide homes for a child or young person, giving them love and stability. It can be for short or longer periods of time. The local and national shortage of foster carers often means that many young people have to be placed with families in different towns and different counties. The Council wants to hear from anyone interested in finding out more about fostering.

Jono said: “I wish children could stay near their home, near their community, near their friends. They need to be close to home because it give them a sense of belonging, it’s all familiar and feels safe.”

“If anyone is considering or thinking about fostering, please seek out the answers that you need and follow it through. It is honestly life changing and I’m proud to say it’s been a huge part of my journey.”

Fostering
Cllr Margaret Isherwood with Jono Lancaster

Cllr Margaret Isherwood, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “Foster parents change lives and give children and young people the opportunities that everyone deserves. In the Wakefield district there are many children in need of a safe and caring home. Do something amazing, get in touch to find out more and become a foster carer with us.”

Foster carers are given training and have their own support worker, who will visit them regularly. They also have opportunities to meet with other foster carers for advice and support.

Foster carers need to be over the age of 21 and have a spare room. No special qualifications are needed, but carers must want to make a real, positive difference to a child’s life.

Those interested are invited to come along to an informal drop-in session to find out more. These are taking place in Wakefield and Castleford in October and November:

• 1 October, 1pm-3pm at Costa Coffee, Trinity Walk, Wakefield
• 4 October, 9.30-11.30am, Costa Coffee, Junction 32 Castleford
• 1 November, 9.30-11.30am, Costa Coffee, Junction 32 Castleford
• 5 November, 1-3pm, Costa Coffee, Trinity Walk Wakefield

People can apply regardless of their marital status, sexuality, religious or cultural background. They do not need to be a home owner or employed and can be with or without children.

Those interested in being carers, need to have patience, tolerance, energy and flexbility. Most importantly they need to be able to provide a loving a secure home for a child.

Allowances, training and support are provided throughout.

Or to find out more about fostering visit
www.wakefield.gov.uk/fostering or call 0800 197 0320.

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