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The drop in information event is being held at St Peter’s Church, Cambridge Street, Harrogate between 10.30 am – 2pm on Saturday 11 February. There’ll be staffed information stands and plenty of take away material that explains all the sorts of fostering options available through FNY, as well as the opportunity to sit and talk over a cup of tea or coffee, or even a bowl of soup.

At any one time, FNY looks after up to 340 children across the county in need of foster care, and FNY is committed to ensuring that the young people it looks after can ideally stay in their local communities. This means FNY foster carers can have confidence they will not be taking ‘looked after’ teenagers from outside of the county.

As part of North Yorkshire County Council, however, FNY is also working with other local authorities on the transfer of unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC) arriving in Britain. These are young people aged under 18 who are applying for asylum and have no relative or guardian in the country.

Seventeen children have arrived in the county so far, and more children are expected to arrive in North Yorkshire over the next three years. FNY is looking for caring, kind and committed foster carers who can take care of them and help them to adjust to life in the UK.

The children arriving in the county are likely to arrive with very few belongings and little grasp of the English language. Foster carers need to be welcoming, open to learning about new cultures and able to nurture and encourage children to settle in to life in the UK.

Once they arrive in North Yorkshire they undergo an assessment to ensure they are placed in a safe and secure family environment that is the best fit for them. As a consequence, FNY also needs additional foster carers who have the skills, compassion and willingness to care for one of these young people who have already been through a lot in their lives. There’ll be a special staffed information stand at the St Peter’s event where people can find out more about fostering these the young people.

All of FNY foster carers are highly valued and come from many backgrounds, but one thing they have in common is a desire to make a difference to the lives of the young people they foster and to help them through this difficult time in their lives.

Being a foster carer is an incredibly important and satisfying role, helping to develop positive experiences and skills that have sometimes been missed out on earlier in life. Fostering also brings with it a generous tax-free allowance for each child and, while this is usually not the main motivation for foster carers, it is a consideration as additional income streams can be very welcome.

Foster carers attached to FNY are given the best training available; knowledgeable support from a dedicated fostering social worker; access to professional experts and specialist services for autism and speech and language where necessary.

“When people start their fostering journey with us, they are joining one of the country’s leading innovative local authorities with all the support that brings” said County Councillor Janet Sanderson, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Children’s Services. “Every child has potential – it just takes one person to provide the right opportunity, and that person could be you.

“If you think that you could be the one to make a difference and change a  young person’s life by giving them a safe foster home, please come along to St Peter’s on Saturday 11 February, or contact us for more information on 01609 534654, or visit FNY at www.northyorks.gov.uk/fostering,”

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