CHURCHES in York are launching a drive to encourage more families to consider fostering or adopting children.
The 'Hope for 800' campaign intends to help as many as possible of an estimated 800 children and young people in Yorkshire and Humberside who are waiting to be adopted.
A meeting will be staged at York St John University's De Grey Court Lecture Theatre at 7.30pm on Monday June 23, opened by Father Terence Richardson, Prior of Ampleforth Abbey.
It is being organised by a group of six women from York and North Yorkshire who are all members of churches and have adopted or fostered children.
One of the women, Claire Hirst, said that every day, more than 50 children in the UK were taken into care and the Church was uniquely placed to offer its help to meet this need.
She said the main speaker at the meeting will be Krish Kandiah, Director, Founder and Author of ‘Home for Good, which was launched in 2013 to equip the UK Church to meet the desperate need for more foster carers and adoptive parents by bringing churches together to find them in their area.
"It is a national campaign which aims to make fostering and adoption a normal part of Church life," she said.
"As a large social network with involvement of large numbers of families, the Church is fertile soil for recruitment.
"Once carers have been through the full process of assessment, the Church could also provide an excellent community of support to wrap around families who are adopting or fostering children.
"Last year, churches in Southampton launched a campaign to find 40 foster placements. By the end of the year, 60 people had applied to be foster carers. Could we have the same success with a similar campaign in Yorkshire and Humberside?"
She said the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu had endorsed Hope for 800, and it was hoped he would be present when 800 balloons were released after the meeting, representing the children who are considered to be waiting for families.
*Anyone interested in attending or fostering or adopting should email firstname.lastname@example.org