Number of Children in Foster Care is Set to Increase

By Alex Scott

Over 60,000 children were in the care of fostering agencies in 2012, according to the British Association for Adoption and Fostering.

According to a statistics report from the association, 67,050 children were in the care of local authorities on March 31st 2012, and this looks to increase when the annual report is released later this month.

While over 50,000 are living with foster carers, there are as many as 12,930 children who are still looking for a permanent home. In 2012 there were only 3,450 new adoptions from care.

The childcare group ISP have launched a nationwide appeal to encourage more people to become foster parents, as the Commons Education Select Committee announces more children need to be taken into care. Talks of slowing down the adoption system, a process which already takes over two years, have worried a great deal of childcare advocates.

“A two and a half year average wait for a child in care to be placed is too long”, says executive editor of the Independent and foster mother of ten years Lisa Markwell.

“It should not be beyond the capability of a reformed system to offer a streamlined journey through the placement process and a potential support structure for later”.

This comes after government warnings that local councils could lose their powers over adoptive services, if they take too much time finding foster parents.

Figures from 2012 show that 600 extra adoptive parents are needed each year to cope with the demand, as well as another 3,000 to deal with the backlog. Surveys show that children in care wait an average of 21 months to be fostered, while others wait for three years before the adoptive process is completed.

If you think you have what it takes to foster, find out more by calling ISP on 01444 871100 or emailing sussex@ispchildcare.org.uk

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