Leeds council urges gays and lesbians to foster children

Gay men and lesbians in Leeds have a "key role" in meeting the urgent need for new homes for children in care, the city council has said.

About 80 children are adopted each year in Leeds and about 1,300 are in foster care, according to council figures.

But the number of people taking on children who have been in care is at a 10-year low, Leeds City Council said.

The council said gay and lesbian foster carers and adopters often had the "right mix" of skills and experience.

Councillor Judith Blake, Leeds City Council's executive member responsible for children's services, said lesbian and gay foster carers and adopters had made a "tremendous contribution" towards helping the city provide homes for children and young people.

'Care and support'

"We welcome applications from all potential foster carers and adopters regardless of their sexuality, religion or marital status," she said.

"The main thing is that you are able to give children and young people the care and support they need to be happy and fulfilled."

Leeds City Council said it provided "comprehensive" training and support for its foster carers, including weekly fees and allowances.

Stuart, 28, and Lee, 25, a same sex couple from Leeds who were recently approved as foster carers, said they wanted to "give something back".

Leeds City Council has invited gay men and lesbians considering adoption or fostering to a special event at the South Leeds City Learning Centre, Beeston, at 19:00 GMT on Tuesday to find out more.

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