Demand for foster carers on the rise

FOSTER CARER Colleen and Stephen Callaghan.
FOSTER CARER Colleen and Stephen Callaghan.

A Spen Valley foster carer has urged families to step up for disadvantaged children as demand for foster places rises.

Over six years Colleen Callaghan and her husband, Stephen, have looked after more than 100 children between the ages of two and 17.

She said: “Over the years we’ve seen an overwhelming difference in the children we’ve fostered.

“It’s really rewarding to know you’ve played a big part in helping each child grow and achieve to the best of their ability.

“You really do have to put the time and effort in if you want to make a difference to the life of a child in foster care.

“This not only helps the child but gives you a real sense of pride in what you and they have achieved.”

Kirklees Council assistant director for children’s services Paul Johnson said the number of children going into foster care in West Yorkshire had risen to around 2,100 and 235 new foster families would be needed over the next year.

“Although challenging and exhausting at times, most of our foster carers say that it is the most fun, satisfying and worthwhile job they’ve ever done,” he said.

A drop-in fostering information event for people seeking more information will be held 12pm-4pm on Sunday May 18 at the Urban Village Resort, Tingley, with another to follow at 4pm-8pm on Wednesday May 21 at the Cedar Court Hotel, Ainley Top, as part of Fostering Fortnight.