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More foster families needed in Yorkshire & Humber

More foster families needed in region Credit: PA

At least 750 new foster families are needed across Yorkshire and the Humber during 2014, according to figures from the Fostering Network.

More foster families are needed not only to replace the 12 per cent who leave each year, but to ensure that the children who come into foster care find carers who have the skills and qualities they need, and are available immediately.

Families are particularly needed to provide homes for teenagers, children with disabilities and sibling groups.

The Fostering Network says without enough families willing and able to offer homes to these groups, some children will find themselves living a long way from family, school and friends or being split up from brothers and sisters.

York child abduction suspect arrested

A man from York at the centre of a child abduction investigation has been arrested on board a plane at Luton Airport as he allegedly tried to leave the country.

The 34-year-old was held after reports to North Yorkshire Police by a York woman who claimed her husband had taken her two-year-old son and was intending to leave the country. The boy was found safe and well allegedly with the man on a plane which was about to leave England.

The suspect was arrested and is being transported back to York for questioning. The child is being reunited with his mother. Police say it was a fast-moving incident and have praised officers and Border Agency officials for their rapid response.

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Smoking increase a "child protection issue"

Researchers warn a study which shows more than 18,000 children took up smoking in Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire in 2011 should be seen as a child protection issue.

The researchers based their analysis on data taken from the 2011 'Smoking, drinking and drug use among young people in England' survey, which targets schoolchildren in England between the ages of 11 and 15 every year.

Questionnaires were completed by 6519 children in 219 schools.

"Smoking is among the largest causes of preventable deaths worldwide. The present data should help to raise awareness of childhood smoking and to focus attention on the need to address this important child protection issue."

– Report authors

Thousands of children taking up smoking in our region

A survey published today reveals shocking numbers of children taking up smoking in Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire.

In 2011, more than 18,683 eleven to fifteen-year-olds took up the habit - or 51 children per day. It's thought the figures could be on the increase this year.

Taking up smoking at a young age is an even greater risk to health than starting later in life, experts say. People who start smoking before the age of 15 run a higher risk of developing lung cancer than those who take up the habit later on.

Sporting chance for young cancer patients

Hundreds of youngsters who are fighting cancer got the chance to be sports superstars for a day as they headed to Sheffield's Institute for Sport, to try everything from cheerleading to judo.

The idea is to keep them fit and active, even though many are undergoing often exhausting treatment at Sheffield's Children's Hospital. But as Martin Fisher found out they were keen to take up the challenge.

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Overhaul announced for two Sheffield schools

Sheffield City Council is backing plans to rebuild two primary schools. Fox Hill Primary on Powey Road will be rebuilt on the same site as the existing school. The old school will then be demolished.

Prince Edward Primary School, on City Road, will also be rebuilt on part of the existing school site and part of a cleared Council housing site. The future of the cleared site will be discussed at a later date.

Pupils will be able to continue with their studies in both cases and will have minimal disruption while work is carried out. All staff will retain their jobs as well.

"It is great to be able to rebuild these two schools that need lots of improvements. Research has shown a good educational environment improves educational attainment and behaviour."

– Councillor Jackie Drayton

South Leeds youth get £100,000 boost

Children and young people in south Leeds will benefit from a range of new and exciting initiatives including cooking classes, dance classes, bike maintenance and training for young junior reporters as part of £100,000 that has been invested by the area committee.

Submissions were invited from the area committee as to what would best benefit the area, and over £300,000 of submissions were made. Out of these submissions, 13 projects have been approved, all of which will be put in place by 1st April.

“We’re really excited about the range of activities for young people that we’ve agreed to fund for 2013/14.

“ Many of the projects will be delivered by organisations that we haven’t funded before or from organisations that have proposed new and innovative opportunities for young people in the area”.

– Councillor Angela Gabriel, chair of the inner south area committee,
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