Laura Sharman 08 January 2014

Charity warns thousands new foster families needed this year

Nearly 9,000 new foster families will be needed during 2014 to replace the 12% that leave each year, according to new figures.

The figures, published by the Fostering Network, show that at least 8,600 new foster families will be required this year to provide homes for the record number of foster children in the UK.

The figures reveal that tonight nearly 63,000 children will be living with over 52,500 foster families.

Robert Tapsfield, chief executive of the Fostering Network, said: ‘Fostering services approved over 7,200 new foster families in England alone in 2012/13, but recruitment remains an ongoing challenge. Fostering services across the UK need to attract a diverse range of foster carers who can meet the needs of children in care and who can offer as much choice as possible so that they can find the right home for each child, first time.

‘We urgently need people who believe that they have the right skills and qualities to foster to come forward and make a long lasting positive difference to the life of a child. In particular, foster carers are needed to provide homes for teenagers and children with disabilities, and to help sibling groups stay together.’

Research by the charity found that in the previous two years, one in three foster carers felt pressure to take children who they were not trained or supported to look after. One in ten also said they were pressured to take in another child even though they had no more capacity to do so.

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