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'MORE FOSTER CARERS NEEDED'

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St Helens MBC is continuing to campaign for more foster carers after ...
St Helens MBC is continuing to campaign for more foster carers after

research showed that many local people believe that the borough has

hundreds of foster carers when it has just 80.

Around 30 more foster carers are needed to provide loving homes for

youngsters. Across the borough there is a shortage of homes for children

aged eight to 16 in particular, more respite carers are needed to provide

weekend cover and there is a shortage of short-term carers to look after

babies.

The shortage of foster carers means that too many children's lives are

being disrupted with frequent moves. These vulnerable children, who need

stability and security, are often placed in foster homes a long way from

family, friends and school. St Helens is also targeting people aged 50 and

over to become foster carers.

The national charity Fostering Network says that local authorities need to

recruit 8,200 foster carers - a jump of more than a third since 2002.

London is the worst off, needing 2,000 extra carers, followed by the

north-west which needs 1,700.

The charity is blaming the recruitment problems on the fact that many

carers feel they are being left out of pocket and it is calling on the

Government to introduce a national minimum fostering allowance. Carers in

St Helens already receive this allowance.

CARERS CALL ON COUNCILS TO INCREASE FOSTERING INVESTMENT(LGCnet)

SHORTAGE OF FOSTER CARERS 'HAS REACHED CRITICAL LEVELS'(Fostering Network)

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