Almost 200 extra young people have entered care in Northern Ireland since the beginning of the pandemic.
Those who work with vulnerable young people here say that they are concerned the care system isn't ready for another rise in numbers.
At the start of the pandemic, there were 3,383 children in care here, according to the Department of Health.
That's a rise of almost a fifth (18%) compared to 5 years ago.
An extra 178 children have been placed into care in the last 10 months over the course of the pandemic.
Voice of Young People in Care (VOYPIC) supports those in the care system here.
Charity representative Alicia Toal said: "It's really important now that children's services have a fully resourced and sustainable workforce to deal with the increase in numbers and the issues that they have to help families with.
"It's also important that there's investment."
UTV has been speaking to several young people who have been through the care system and the challenges they faced
Video report by Judith Hill: