Response to record numbers of children coming into care

Media release

New figures from Cafcass, showing a record number of children were taken into care in England in January, confirm the need for more foster families across the country, the Fostering Network is warning today.

Cafcass, which champions the interests of children involved in family proceedings, received 903 referrals in January. This is the first time the figure has topped 900 for a single month. Applications received between May 2011 and January 2012 have been the highest recorded by Cafcass for these individual months.

The number of children coming into care has been rising since the publicity around the death of Baby Peter Connolly in late 2008.

Robert Tapsfield, chief executive of the Fostering Network, said: “For the vast majority of these children, it is foster carers who will provide them with a safe and secure home while they are unable to live with their own families.

“In December the Fostering Network estimated that a further 7,100 foster families were needed across England in 2012 alone. The continued rise in numbers puts the system under even more pressure, and highlights the need for fostering services to step up their recruitment efforts.

“In addition, we are urging central and local government to explore ways of making fostering a more attractive option to a wider range of people, by looking at improving financial and practical support for foster carers.”

ENDS

For media enquiries contact the Fostering Network press office on 020 7620 6425 and media@fostering.net

Notes to editors

1. The Fostering Network’s recruitment targets also showed that 1,000 new foster carers are needed in Scotland, 550 in Wales and 100 in Northern Ireland across 2012.

2. For more information on the care referral figures see the Cafcass website

3. To find out more about becoming a foster carer, visit www.couldyoufoster.org.uk

4. The Fostering Network is the UK's leading charity for all those involved in fostering. It exists to make life better for fostered children and those who care for them.