YORK residents are being asked to change a child’s life through becoming a foster carer.

More people are needed who can 'open their heart, and their homes, to vulnerable children and young people', said Robert Tapsfield, chief executive of the national Fostering Network.

Speaking at the start of Fostering Fortnight, he warned that more and more children were coming into care nationwide, and said: “A good foster carer will believe in the ambition of the children in their care in the same way they’d believe in the ambition of their own family members.

"A childhood is too short to waste, and foster carers can help those who haven’t had the best start begin to enjoy their life and grow into the adults that they want to be.”

York currently has more than 100 foster carers, who support children and young people who are not able to live with their own families and receive a weekly allowance to cover day-to-day expenses.

Cllr Janet Looker, cabinet member for children at City of York Council, which is linking into the Network’s national campaign, said foster carers came from all walks of life and were as unique as the children who needed fostering.

"We’re not interested in your age or whether you already have children, but you do need the space, energy and time to support a child in need," she said.

“We have a strong fostering community in York but we always need more Foster Carers to provide vulnerable young people with a safe and secure environment. I’d urge anyone who is interested in finding out more to get in touch.”

York City player and 'education ambassador' Danny Parslow is also backing the appeal for new foster carers. He said: "Fostering, like teaching, is about having a real love for working with young people and wanting to make a difference in their lives. It provides a solid foundation through offering a happy and stable environment for the young people to flourish."

For more information, go to www.york.gov.uk/fostering, email fostering@york.gov.uk or call 01904 555333.