Every 20 minutes a child comes into care in the UK in need of a foster carer to look after them. Sometime this might be for a few days or weeks, other times it could be for a whole childhood.
There can be many different reasons for children entering care such as illness of a parent, abuse or neglect. Regardless of their previous experiences, it is important that these children and young people have the chance to live with a family that can provide them with the love, care and stability they need to thrive and develop as they move from childhood into adulthood.
We currently estimate that there is a need for more than 8,000 new fostering families across the UK over the next year. More specifically, there is an urgent need for foster carers to look after teenagers, sibling groups and young people with additional needs. The majority of children and young people in care are over the age of 10, so most foster carers will be looking after older children and teenagers.
Groups of siblings are frequently placed separately due to there only being a few foster carers having the space required to look after more than one child. Because of this, more foster carers with more than one spare room are also in urgent need to help prevent siblings being separated. In many cases where siblings are kept together, fostering services have had to locate the children outside of their local area in order to find a carer able to accommodate more than one child. It can sometimes be an extra challenge for the children as it takes them away from familiar surroundings, but they get to be with their sibling.
Foster carers with specialist skills are very much in urgent need to help look after children and young people with physical, emotional or learning needs. This helps ensure an easier transition into care for such children. The more foster families there are, the more likely children and young people will find a match which is suited to their needs. Find out more about fostering by getting in touch with us today at Viola Fostering Services.