From the front line to fostering

Foster carer Darren Fisher with his wife Jo.
Foster carer Darren Fisher with his wife Jo.

A former army engineer is backing a campaign to tackle the nationwide shortage of foster carers.

Darren Fisher, an ex-Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineer, who lives in Pontefract with his wife Jo and their four-year-old daughter, Skye, is lending his voice to the nationwide call for new recruits as part of Foster Care Fortnight, which runs until Sunday.

The campaign aims to raise awareness about fostering, with an estimated shortage of 8,700 carers needed to look after children in the UK, according to the Fostering Network.

Around 750 are needed in Yorkshire.

Mr Fisher, 32, was in the army for 15 years serving with a range of military units including 3 Commando Brigade, where he served as a mechanical engineer.

Last September he left to follow his dream of starting a business with the help of his wife.

He said: “My wife has always worked with children, and her parents are foster carers, so after our daughter was born, the prospect of a new focus appealed to us both.

“We live in a community, everyone has to put their hand in to help out.

“My wife and I offer our home, family and more importantly our time through fostering and I think more people should do so.”

The couple foster three children through Orange Grove Fostercare, which has offices in Leeds, Wakefield, Bradford, Calderdale and Kirkless.

Judith Rees, director of fostering at Orange Grove, said: “We’re very proud of Darren and Jo who, like all our foster carers, have done so much to help looked-after children have a better quality of life and hope for the future.

“We’re keen to hear from people who have experience of foster caring or who are considering becoming foster carers for the first time.”