MORE than 400 extra foster carers need to be found across the region in the next 12 months, a leading charity has warned.
The figures, published by the Fostering Network, showed the scale of the challenge for fostering services in the region as they struggle to provide the right homes for youngsters.
Since 2008, the number of children living with foster families across the country has risen by 16 per cent, and it continues to increase. There is also an ageing foster population, with about 14 per cent retiring or leaving each year.
Helen Clarke, recruitment and retention expert at Fostering Network, said: “All children in care need a family they can grow up with who can love them, be ambitious for them and help them achieve their potential.
“For a growing number, foster care is the best option for them.
“By becoming a foster carer people can help the children they welcome into their homes to have the best possible opportunity of a positive future, to do well at school and be successful later in life.
“Foster carers come from all walks of life, from teachers to factory workers and builders to nurses.”
To find out more about becoming a foster carer, visit www.couldyoufoster.org.uk or phone Fosterline on 0800 040 7675.