Guest Post: Fostering In Harrogate

Written by on September 11, 2020

A local fostering agency is urging more families to become foster parents once their children leave the family home for university. A record 40.5% of all 18-year-olds in the UK have applied to go to university this year, with numbers rising significantly during lockdown, according to the university admissions service, Ucas.

It is the first time that more than four out of 10 students (40.5%) had applied by 30 June to go to university and Orange Grove, which provides fostering services in Leeds/Harrogate area are looking for people with a spare room to consider opening their home up to a foster child.

With the increase in students applying for university this year, and for those who have an additional spare room at home and room in their lives for another child, fostering can be a way to turn an ‘empty nest’ into an opportunity to give a child a brighter future.

Orange Grove want to ensure people who are open to fostering have an additional spare room to the one that their child has left, as it is likely that students will return home throughout their academic year to visit their family.

Official figures from the Local Government Association show there are now 78,150 children in care in England, up from 75,370 in 2018.

To support the growing number of young people entering care, it’s currently estimated that over 8,000 families are required to become foster parents.

Fostering can provide a refreshingly different challenge from traditional parenthood, one that many find extremely rewarding. For many, the ‘empty nest’ stage of their life is the perfect time to consider fostering.

Craig Clark, Registered Manager at Orange Grove Fostercare Leeds, explained more:

“Empty nest syndrome is a feeling of grief and loneliness parents may feel when their children leave home for the first time, whether that’s to live on their own or attend college or university.

“It can be a difficult time for some parents. The house can be just too quiet, too empty. Some people even report significant physical and psychological symptoms, including depression and anxiety.

“This could be the perfect time for people to consider opening their doors to a vulnerable child or a young person. Someone who is in need of a safe and stable home life.”

Despite the pandemic, many students will not be deferring their place this year, and universities across the UK have been working around the clock to put special measures in place, meaning that student’s university experience will be minimally compromised.

If you think that your empty nest could become a loving home for children, or if you would like to find out more about fostering in general, call the friendly team on 0800 3698513 or visit for more information.

Orange Grove Fostercare is an independent fostering agency who currently take care of 400 children across the South East, Midlands, North West and Yorkshire. During the coronavirus outbreak, Orange Grove has adapted to provide virtual support to their existing and prospective foster parents with home visits and assessments now being conducted virtually.

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