New foster carers in North Yorkshire are being offered a £500 ‘golden hello’ payment when they are approved to help to provide a fresh start for young people.
From now until December 31, 2023, North Yorkshire Council’s not-for-profit fostering service, Fostering North Yorkshire, is giving £500 to every newly approved foster carer.
The move is part of a summer drive to help recruit more foster carers.
Fostering North Yorkshire currently has 181 foster carers looking after children in care.
However, more children are coming into care and there’s a national shortage of carers across the UK.
North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for children and families, Cllr Janet Sanderson, said: “We are delighted to announce the ‘golden hello’ for all newly approved foster carers between now and the end of December.
“Our foster carers are there day in, day out giving our local children a loving home and offering them support and guidance. Our foster carers are very much appreciated, and we are fully committed to ensuring our foster carers are properly supported and rewarded. We would encourage anyone who has been thinking of fostering to enquire now.”
Staff from Fostering North Yorkshire will be out and about during the summer at various events to chat to people interested in becoming a foster carer.
They will attend Everyone Active, Scarborough Sports Village, on Thursday, August 3, between 1.30pm and 3pm as well as the Malton Food Lovers Summer Festival on Saturday, August 26.
Children looked after by foster carers in their local area have a better chance of receiving the support they need.
Foster carers can provide a home and support to children in care for planned weekends, regular sleepovers, or short breaks, as well as long-term care. Fostering North Yorkshire works with each applicant to see what is right for them.
Carers receive full training and support to help turn young lives around. There are also payments and allowances for every night a carer fosters, most of these are tax-free.
Anyone aged over 21 can foster, and they just need space to care and to be prepared for a challenging but rewarding role.
John (60) and Karen Pownall (57) from Whitby started fostering to help young people back into education and to give them a sense of belonging.
Mr Pownall said: “It’s a wonderful thing to do. Yes, it’s hard because the children you care for have often suffered trauma in their lives. However, if you love helping others and enjoy being with children, then fostering is a great thing to do.
“Seeing the difference you make is so rewarding.”
Allison (62) and Alan Cooper (71) have been fostering for Fostering North Yorkshire for 30 years.
They said: “We’ve looked after hundreds of children over the years – some have been with us for a weekend, others for two years.
“Fostering has completely enriched our lives. It’s hard saying goodbye to the children, but we’ve found that they stay in touch and it’s a joy to see them continue to thrive.”
Visit www.northyorks.gov.uk/fostering to find out more or call 01609 534654 to speak to a member of the Fostering North Yorkshire team.