A children’s charity has warned that the number of children needing foster care has increased by 44% during the coronavirus pandemic.
Barnardo’s also said that the number of people looking to become foster parents during the crisis has fallen by 47% compared to the same time period last year.
It warns this has created a ‘state of emergency’ in foster care as hundreds of children referred to Barnardo’s will not be placed with a family.
Barnardo’s chief executive, Javed Khan, said: ‘The coronavirus pandemic has hit vulnerable families the hardest, with many reaching crisis point.
’This has created a state of emergency, as more children than ever need a safe and loving foster family, while fewer adults are coming forward as potential foster carers.’
In response, cllr Judith Blake, chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said: 'Councils have been encouraging applicants from people of all backgrounds who are interested in fostering and adoption, and will continue to support those who are able to provide a stable home for children in care
'We have also been making the case that a child’s needs and voice is at the centre of any decision made about their futures.'