Thousands of foster families needed, figures show

Foster carers lacking support and recognition
Kevin Williams, chief executive, The Fostering Network

More than 8,500 new foster families are needed across the UK over the next year, figures have revealed.

The Fostering Network said 900 foster families are needed in London out of a total of 7,220 in England. A further 250 families are needed in Northern Ireland, 580 in Scotland and 550 in Wales.

The charity calculates annual foster family recruitment targets, taking into account factors including the percentage of the foster carer workforce leaving each year and the change in the numbers of children in care.

The call for more foster families comes at the start of its annual Foster Care Fortnight campaign.

Kevin Williams, The Fostering Network chief executive, said: ‘Fostering is life-changing for both the child or young person being fostered and for the family that cares for them. Foster carers do something amazing on behalf of our society – making a real difference to a child’s life.

‘Across the UK a child comes into care in need of a foster family every 20 minutes. On any given day in London there are around 10,000 children in care, the vast majority of whom are living foster families who are working tirelessly to ensure that these children and young people experience the stability and security of a nurturing, loving home.’