Thousands of foster carers needed to prevent a care ‘crisis’

Thousands of foster carers needed to prevent a care ‘crisis’

At least 8,750 new foster families need to be found across the UK in the next 12 months to avoid a crisis in the care system, the Fostering Network has claimed.

According to the charity, the number of children in need of a foster home has risen for five years in a row and around 14 per cent of the foster care work force retire or leave each year.

The average age of foster carer was 46 in 2000 rising to 53 in 2009 and the number of children living with foster carers rose from 49,700 in 2005 to 59,000 in 2011.

The Fostering Network says an extra 7,100 foster carers are needed in England, 1,000 in Scotland, 550 in Wales and 100 in Northern Ireland.

Robert Tapsfield, the charity’s chief executive, said: “These figures are alarming – we could be facing a real crisis when looking to provide the most appropriate care for children who cannot live with their own family.

All children in care need a family they can grow up with who can love them, be ambitious for them and help them achieve their potential. For a growing number, foster care is the best option.

“By becoming a foster carer people can help the children they welcome into their homes to have the best possible opportunity of a positive future, do well at school and be successful in later life.”

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