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ALMOST 8,000 MORE FOSTER CARERS NEEDED ACROSS UK

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> There is an urgent need for almost 8,000 new foster carers to be found in ...
> There is an urgent need for almost 8,000 new foster carers to be found in

> the UK, according to a new survey published today.

>

> The survey, based on returns from 128 local authorities and collated by

> national charity the Fostering Network, found that an extra 7,800 carers

> are needed across the UK. Its publication coincides with this year's

> Foster Care Fortnight, which starts today. During the next two weeks,

> local authorities all over the UK will be holding events with the aim of

> encouraging more people to consider becoming foster carers.

>

> Gerri McAndrew, the Fostering Network's executive director, said: 'These

> new figures show that there is still a desperate need for more foster

> carers in the UK. It's not just a question of numbers - each child should

> be able to live with a carer carefully chosen to meet his or her specific

> needs in terms of location, culture, lifestyle, language and even

> interests. The wider the pool of carers available, the more likely it is

> that a good match can be found.

>

> 'Anyone can apply to be a foster carer, and Foster Care Fortnight is the

> ideal time for members of the public to find out more about fostering.'

>

> There are over 45,000 children and young people living with 37,000 foster

> families in the UK on any one day, with many more moving in and out of

> foster homes over the year. To find out more about becoming a foster

> carer, members of the public should contact their local authority, call

> the Fostering Network on 020 7620 6400 or visit www.fostering.net

>

> For the survey, UK local authorities were asked how many foster carers

> they would have to recruit in order to offer good placement choice to the

> children in their care. Good placement choice refers to having a

> sufficiently wide pool of foster carers so that each child can live with a

> family who can meet their individual needs.

>

> The results were calculated on the basis of responses from 128 local

> authorities (59 per cent), covering around 60 per cent of the population.

> A regional breakdown is below.

>

> The Fostering Network (formerly the National Foster Care Association)

> exists to ensure that all children who are fostered receive the highest

> standards of care. The charity's membership includes 99 per cent of local

> authorities and 19,000 foster carers.

Regional breakdown of shortage of foster carers (rounded to the nearest 50)

>

> England 6,100

> of which

> North West 900

> North East 600

> West Midlands 900

> East Midlands 400

> East 550

> South West 850

> South East 800

> London 1,100

>

> Northern Ireland 350

> Scotland 650

> Wales 700

>

> United Kingdom 7,800

>

>

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