Foster care fortnight highlights need to find more children safe homes, says MP

Wednesday 25th May 2022 8:00 am
MP Mel Stride ( )

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CENTRAL DEVON MP Mel Stride has issued an appeal alongside the Fostering Foundation for people who might be willing to foster a child.

The most recent available statistics show there are currently around 45,370 fostering households and 76,640 foster carers in England, but every year thousands more are needed.

The biggest challenge is finding foster carers willing and able to take siblings, with an estimated 2,000 children growing up in foster care who have been separated from a brother or sister.

Organised by The Fostering Network, Foster Care Fortnight ran from May 9 to 22 and shone a spotlight on the extraordinary contribution of foster carers and social workers, and the need for more foster carers to come forward.

During the event Mr Stride spoke with Mark Henderson, senior supervising social worker, at the Fostering Foundation for the Exeter Region.

Mr Stride said: ‘It was very good to chat with Mark about one of the most important issues facing our society today – young people in need of a safe and loving home.

‘But we need more foster carers to come forward and I’d encourage anyone who they may be able to open their home to take the first step by visiting or to find out more.’

Mark added: ‘Being a foster carer isn’t easy but knowing that you are transforming a child’s life is incredibly rewarding.

‘It suits a range of people in very different circumstances, from people in their twenties who haven’t had their own children to older people whose own children have left home.’

All foster parents receive a foster care allowance to cover the cost of caring for a child.

The total amount you get depends on where you live, which fostering service you use, the child’s age, if the child has specific needs, your skills and experience and about being paid in recognition for the level of support provided.

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