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Thousands of new foster families needed this year

Over 8,500 foster families are needed across the UK over the next year according to new figures published by The Fostering Network.

The Fostering Network has calculated annual foster family recruitment targets, taking into account a number of factors including the percentage of the foster carer workforce leaving each year and the change in the numbers of children in care. This year's figures show a need for 7,220 new foster families in England, 250 in Northern Ireland, 580 in Scotland and 550 in Wales.

The Fostering Network's call for more foster families came at the start of its annual Foster Care Fortnight campaign (13-26 May) which has the theme of #changeafuture, highlighting the positive impact foster care can have on fostered children's futures and encouraging more people to come forward to foster.

According to the charity, without these extra foster families being found during 2019 – particularly those that could foster teenagers and sibling groups – some children will find themselves living a long way from their family, school and friends, being split up from brothers and sisters, or being matched with a foster carer who might not have the relevant skills and experience to meet their specific needs.

To follow Foster Care Fortnight, use #changeafuture.