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Report shows 20 per cent of people in the region unaware single people can foster

Sep 27, 2021 | Leisure & Lifestyle

The UK is currently in need of more than 8,500 foster homes for children and young people.

Current world events could see this number drastically increase over the next year. Following the results of a recent report, a regional fostering organisation is encouraging single people to come forward and consider caring for vulnerable children in need of a safe place to call home.

A report commissioned by The Fostering Company North East reveals that more than 20% of people in the North East are unaware that single people can foster [1], which could negatively be impacting foster care recruitment at a time when demand is greater than ever.

There are a record 69,000 children in care living with around 55,000 foster families in the UK, and in the North East region alone another 600 foster carers are needed [2]. With recent data showing that there are almost 400,000 single person households in the North East, it would take less than 1% of this figure to meet the current shortfall in this area [3].

The Fostering Company North East– an independent fostering provider with foster carers across County Durham – is keen to advocate the single carer households it has across the region and celebrate the amazing work they do in helping to turn young lives around, offering a safe space to call home while also giving themselves a stable and rewarding career.

Commenting on the need for more single people to consider fostering a child or young person, Camilla Hunter, Registered Manager at The Fostering Company, said: “At a time when we’re already in need of thousands of safe homes for children living in the UK, world events have drastically increased the need and urgency of finding foster carers for children and young people. We’re encouraging single people to consider fostering. Someone’s marital or relationship status, gender, sexuality, religion or ethnicity does not stop them providing excellent care to a child in need.

“It’s also extremely important to us that we have foster carers from different backgrounds and communities to reflect the diversity of the children in the care system. Today, there is national shortage of more than 8,500 foster carers but we will continue to see this number increase over the next year, and beyond.

“Fostering comes in many forms and can be tailored towards the needs and lifestyle of the foster parent, or parents, and those in their care. Foster carers can work flexibly as respite or short-term foster carers, or they can have foster children and young people living with them long-term, meaning they would remain in care until they feel ready to live independently. If you’re a kind, compassionate individual and would like to get some more information and discuss the different types of fostering, please do get in touch. You will not be committed to taking on a placement at any stage of the process.

“To be considered, you must be 25 years of age and have the key qualities needed to look after children in care. This includes single people, co-habiting couples, same sex couples and people living in rented accommodation, but there must be a spare room for each foster child.”

A career in foster care offers flexible working and a professional fee. For more information on foster care contact The Fostering Company North East on https://thefosteringcompanyneltd.co.uk/, call on 01912 836 774 or email info@thefosteringcompanyltd.co.uk.