The Fostering Network has today released their annual foster carer recruitment targets, and the total figure for the UK is once again over 9,000, with 7600 new foster families needed in England. Could your family be one of them?
Every year The Fostering Network release foster carer recruitment targets for the whole of the UK, broken down by country, and by region in England. This year the figures look... well, daunting:
Northern Ireland 170
North East 475
North West 1300
Yorkshire and the Humber 775
East Midlands 550
West Midlands 1000
East of England 650
South East 1100
South West 600
In the press release to accompany the figures, The Fostering Network explains:
In particular there is an ongoing and urgent need for more foster families to provide homes for teenagers, disabled children, unaccompanied asylum seeking children, and sibling groups. Many foster carers who choose to foster these groups, who are traditionally thought of as ‘hard to place’, comment on how rewarding the experience is and how well their fostering service has supported them to develop and evolve their current skillset in order to give a home to children who could not live with their birth family.
This closely mirrors Family Fostercare’s experience. We receive many enquiries each year about fostering, but many prospective foster carers feel that they only want to foster babies and toddlers, or maybe Under 5s age group. Sadly, there are a great many more older children, with more complicated personal histories and more complex needs requiring foster homes. The shortage of resilient, confident fostering households willing to give a home to older children or teenagers means that they often end up living in less than ideal fostering placements a long way from home. This, and other factors related to not finding the right foster home for each child, can lead to fostering placement breakdown. According to recent figures 2 in 5 teenagers are living in their 3rd fostering placement and 5% are living with their tenth family in foster care. This kind of upset and instability often takes a severe toll on the trust, self-esteem and hope for a better future in young people, who have already experienced a traumatic and difficult childhood. By recruiting more fostering families who are resilient, confident and committed to making a difference, we can provide a better choice of potential foster families so that each child has the best opportunity of being matched with a foster carer who can meet their needs, first time around.
Kevin Williams, Chief Executive of the Fostering Network also took the opportunity in the press release to acknowledge the incredible contribution foster carers make to our society:
Foster families perform an invaluable duty on behalf of the state, one that really serves the whole community. Their work contributes not only to society now, but in the decades that will come as the young people who live in their care grow into independence and in turn become positive adults who give back to society. Foster families give children the opportunity of the childhood that they deserve, a childhood that otherwise they may not have had.
If you are keen to find out more about changing lives through fostering, and if you are:
- a good listener
- a good team player
- have a good sense of humour
- have a positive outlook
- the type of person that just keeps getting up again no matter what life throws at you
then please get in touch with Family Fostercare today and find out more. We provide free training, intensive support to guide you and your family through the application and assessment process, and a dedicated fostering team to support you in every way once you are an approved foster carer. We keep our offices small, with a maximum of 25 fostering households per office, so that each and every member of every fostering family gets the support they need to make their fostering experience a positive, stable and happy one. All with a friendly, warm and personal, family feel.
For more information or for a no-commitment chat:
- apply online
- call our central enquiry line on 0800 321 3230 or call your local office direct
- or call in at your local office for a coffee and a warm Family Fostercare welcome
And remember...Your local Family Fostercare needs YOU!