Foster parent shortage grows by 35% and disrupts services, survey finds

Children’s lives are being “badly disrupted”
due to a critical shortage of foster carers in England, reveals a
survey by the Fostering Network, writes Shirley

The survey of 97 councils shows a shortage of 8,200
foster carers, a 35 per cent rise on the charity’s last
survey in 2002.

London experienced the highest shortage at 2,000 followed by the
North West at 1,700.

In a call for the government to introduce a national minimum
fostering allowance, Fostering Network director Robert Tapsfield
said: “Too many children’s lives are being badly
disrupted with frequent moves and foster homes a long way from
family, friends and school.”

The Department for Education and Skills (DfES) annual figures
ending in March 2003, also showed one in four children in public
care live outside their council’s border, while one in seven
live in three or more homes in a year.

  • The Fostering Network has launched a Code of Practice to aid
    Scottish fostering services in the recruitment and retention of
    foster carers. There is currently a shortage of 650 foster carers
    in Scotland.

To obtain a copy call the network on: 0141 204 1400

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