Fostering Network: More people needed to meet foster family shortfall

At least 8,370 new foster families are needed across the UK during 2015 Credit: PA

At least 550 new foster families are needed across the Wales during 2015 to meet the growing number of children being taken into care. That's according to figures released today from The Fostering Network.

Each day sees over 63,000 children living with over 52,500 foster families in homes across the UK.

With around 13 per cent of Foster Carers retiring or leaving the service last year, there are fresh calls for people to come forward and foster.

The Fostering Network also says there's a need to not only recruit more Foster Carers but also better utilise the current pool of foster carers.

More families are particularly needed to provide homes for teenagers, children with disabilities and sibling groups.

The Fostering Co-Operative in Wales says there are many misconceptions about who is able to foster that may be discouraging potential carers from applying.

Many people are being put off because they think they can't offer a child a home if they are a single parent, gay or lesbian or an older person.

The charity says without enough foster families willing and able to offer homes to these groups, some children will find themselves living a long way from family, friends and their school.

It can also lead to them being split up from brothers and sisters, or being placed with a Foster Carer who does not have the right skills and experience to meet their specific needs.

The Fostering Network is now urging people to get in contact to get more advice if they are considering offering a child or young person a home.