The number of applications to become a foster carer has fallen by 10% since March last year, new data has revealed.
The latest statistics from Ofsted shows capacity in foster care has stalled in the past year, despite demand being at its highest level.
The data also shows that 65% of foster carers are aged over 50, with a quarter being aged over 60.
Yvette Stanley, Ofsted’s national director for regulation and social care, said: ‘Although today’s statistics show a small rise in foster carers and places, there still isn’t anywhere near enough to meet demand. The difficulty in recruiting carers with the right skills and experience, along with what is potentially an aging carer population, is a mix that could be storing up trouble for the future.
’Combined with the urgent need for more residential provision, ensuring a sustainable system, with a pool of carers and homes that meet children’s increasingly complex needs, has to be a priority for the forthcoming Care Review.’