Less than 10 per cent of local authorities provide foster carers
who leave their service with an exit interview, new research has
A study by The Fostering Network reveals that councils are not
doing enough to find out why foster carers stop working for
Retention among local authority foster carers is a major issue
with more leaving the service because of poor allowance rates or
moving to independent foster agencies that provide them with reward
payments and extra support. The situation is so severe that there
is now a national shortage of 8,000 carers.
Researchers also interviewed people who had applied to become a
foster carer, but then dropped out. It emerged that most did so
because of a lack of contact with social workers, the length of
time it took to be approved – one person waited more than one year
– and a lack of information provided about the role.
The full findings of the research are to be unveiled in the
The Fostering Network has also called on local authorities to
improve training for foster carers, and make it a mandatory
requirement. It said too few carers were turning up to training
courses because councils were failing to encourage them to go and
not putting in place facilities, such as child care services, to
make it easier.