1. ITV Report

Hundreds more fostering families needed

The Fostering Network says there is an Credit: PA

More than 1,500 new fostering families are needed in the Midlands to ensure the provision of "stable, secure and loving homes" for fostered children.

According to figures published today by The Fostering Network, 1,000 fostering families are needed in the West Midlands, with a further 550 needed in the East Midlands.

The charity said 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.

Fostering families needed in the West Midlands
Fostering families needed in the East Midlands

Figures show that two in five fostered teenagers are already living with their third foster family since coming into care, and one in 20 teenagers are living with their tenth family in foster care.

The Fostering Network says with a rising number of children coming into care and around a tenth of foster carers retiring or leaving fostering last year, there is a growing demand for new foster carers.

Kevin Williams, Chief Executive of The Fostering Network, said:

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.

Prospective foster carers will receive training and support from their fostering service, but before they even start the process they need a range of skills and qualities including patience, the ability to listen, being a team player and advocating on behalf of a child, a sense of humour and much more besides.

– Kevin Williams, Chief Executive, The Fostering Network