> the UK, according to a new survey published today.
> The survey, based on returns from 128 local authorities and collated by
> 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