Pudsey foster carers tell their story this foster care fortnight

Foster carer Jono Gadsby
Foster carer Jono Gadsby

Words: Meghan Robinson

Foster carers play an important role in our community and there is an urgent need for more in Leeds, particularly for children over 11, sibling groups and those with additional needs.

Jono and Clare Gadsby have been full-time foster carers with Foster4Leeds for over two years.

The couple, from Pudsey, first decided to get into fostering so that they could help local children who are in challenging circumstances and make a difference in their community.

They live with a biological child, who is five years old. Jono said:

“We had a spare room, we love a busy house, we both grew up in busy homes and wanted that as parents, so we looked into it.

“We considered it for quite a while as our Son made it a much complicated decision. I’m so glad we did it as I couldn’t imagine not fostering now. The support is great, I know I can ring for help and advice whenever I need to. There is always an activity that both kids are looking forward to, they get on like a house on fire.”

Jono encourages anyone who is thinking about fostering to get in touch with Foster4Leeds, Leeds City Council’s dedicated fostering service. He added:

“They are 100% not-for-profit and committed to helping local children. By fostering with your local council, you will be helping local children that will still be able to attend their same school, see their friends, and have some normality through such a turbulent time.”

Foster carers are paid a weekly fee and allowance up to the value of £22,180 per annum, per young person.

There are many different types of fostering to suit individual lifestyles, from temporary care every once in a while to long-term placements. Visit foster4leeds.co.uk to find out more.


  1. A little bit misleading. Only Level 4 Foster Carers will earn a Professional weekly fee at the rate you published.
    The rate of payment reflects the age of a child. An older child attracts a weekly professional fee of £224.42. It’s paid so long as a child is in place living at your home and the main Carer doesn’t take any other paid work (because they’re fee paid and must be available to attend meetings, training, take children to their school and get the child to family contact etc). There are no guarantees with regard steady income. Sometimes it’s difficult to place a child with a family who have younger children of their own and sometimes the matching process prevents a placement for other reasons.
    The remaining money you receive must be spent on the child as per the Foster Carers agreement. The £224 payment is for level 4 carers who have completed the training and attended the minimum number of support groups then they will be approved as level 4. Foster Carers are classed as self-employed. The fee (per child) falls below the taxable threshold so usually there’s no tax to pay. There is no local authority pension eligibility because Foster Carers are self-employed. Holiday entitlement is minimal. We take our child with us but that’s not always been the case because behaviour difficulties can sometimes leave Foster Carers exhausted and their families need family time. What you must remember is, looked after children are not always happy to be in care and their families are equally not impressed that you now have their child. Getting away so your own family can get back some Parent time is vital sometimes.
    Seeing the £22,180 per year suggests that the money is all yours from day one. It isn’t. Not really. One of the accusations thrown at Foster Carers is they only do it for the money (that old chestnut is very commonly used). The school crossing warden gets paid to cross children safely over the road. Social Workers get paid to work with children. Doctors, therapists, teachers all get paid but none of them take abused, unwanted and damaged children into their own homes to keep safe. Only Foster Carers do that. Getting paid makes that possible. If you can do that, apply.

  2. If some parent carers had more support from social care some kids wouldn’t need to be placed in Foster care in the first place. They also seem to receive a lot more money for doing the same job as a biological parent. I don’t feel like a parent more of a carer, which I’m paid a pittance for a 24hr, 7 day a week job.


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