Urgent need for over 8,000 new foster families

The Fostering Network has reported that over 8,000 new foster families across the UK need to be found in the coming year to ensure that all fostered children can be found the right foster home first time.

The new figures show that 8,100 families are needed across the UK, broken down to 6,800 in England, 550 in Scotland, 550 in Wales, and 200 in Northern Ireland. Without more foster families coming forward this year, especially for teenagers and sibling groups, the charity warns that some children will find themselves living a long way from their family, school and friends.

The charity is currently in the middle of Foster Care Fortnight and is urging people who think they might have the relevant skills and experience to come forward to find out more about fostering.

Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network, said: “Foster carers do something amazing on behalf of our society. Across the UK a child comes into care in need of a foster family every 20 minutes, and thousands of foster families are willing to open their hearts and homes to these children, often offering them their first experience of a stable, secure and caring home. Looking after fostered children, many of whom who have experienced trauma, abuse or neglect, can be challenging. But it is that challenge, along with the reward of seeing these children and young people flourish, that many foster carers say makes them proud to foster.”