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foster carer shortfall

As the UK celebrates Foster Care Fortnight 2019 (13 May – 26 May), we are calling on people to consider a career in fostering.

Across the UK, there are currently 65,000 children living with almost 55,000 foster families but a further 8,100 foster carers are needed across the UK to meet demand and help support vulnerable children and young adults.

Foster Care Fortnight is the UK’s biggest foster care awareness raising campaign and aims to support fostering services around the country by highlighting the life-changing role foster carers play on a daily basis and the opportunities available to those looking for a career in foster care.

An aging population of foster carers and increasing numbers of children and young people entering the care system is increasing demand and pressure on the fostering industry, something we are keen to address this Foster Care Fortnight.

Our report last year revealed that there is a distinct lack of awareness around the different types of people that are eligible to foster, with 60 percent of respondents unaware that those without their own children are eligible to foster.

Though there are lots of misconceptions on who can become a foster carer, people from all walks of life can become foster carers as long as they are over 21 years of age. This includes grandparents, single people, co-habiting couples, same sex couples and people living in rented accommodation. The only requirement is a spare room for each foster child.

There are many ways in which a person can have a career in fostering that is tailored to their needs and lifestyle. Foster carers can work flexibly as respite or short-term foster carers, or they can have a full-time fostering career where they care for one or more placements.

Our report also highlighted that 64 percent of the British public aren’t aware that foster carers are paid – a serious misconception that could be hindering foster carer recruitment across the UK.

Discussing Foster Care Fortnight 2019, Martin Leitch, our head of fostering operations said: “It’s really important that we use Foster Care Fortnight 2019 to increase awareness of the wide variety of career opportunities available across fostering and to tackle some of the stereotypes currently hindering foster carer recruitment.

“Being a foster carer in any capacity is a hugely rewarding career and the impact it can have on local communities is massive. We’re keen to hear from anyone who is interested in becoming a foster carer, whether they’re considering it for the first time or already have fostering experience.”

If you would like to learn more about becoming a foster carer, call our enquiries team on 0345 266 0272 or email

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