Caritas Care, a local charity based in Preston but working across the North West, is looking for foster carers to provide a home for the growing number of children in care in the UK.
Official figures show that the number of children in care has risen by 28% in the last decade – from 60,900 to 78,150, a staggering rise of almost 20,000 children and young people.
Susan Swarbrick, CEO at Caritas Care said : “The increase in the numbers of children in care is putting enormous pressure on an already over-stretched system. Children and young people can face instability and being moved away from their friends, family and home communities. Caritas Care works with Lancashire and other local authorities to find foster carers for these children and young people”.
The Guardian newspaper revealed in December 2019 that thousands of children in care are increasingly being placed in unregulated homes, partly as a result of a lack of local foster carers for them. The Police and the children’s commissioner has warned that they can be at risk of exploitation in these homes.
Susan Swarbrick added “We have an established fostering service at Caritas Care. We are regulated service registered with Ofsted who in 2018 judged us to be an outstanding fostering service. Our foster carers tell us that they really enjoy caring for children and young people and feel well trained and supported by the agency. The support includes 24/7 contact with social workers if needed and generous payments for the work that they do – many go on to become career foster carers”.
The Department for Education is trying to boost the number of foster and adoptive parents and Caritas Care is supporting this by recruiting as many foster carers and adopters as possible in Lancashire and the surrounding areas.
Foster Carer’s, Leanne and Paul said “Caritas Care was so ‘on it’ straight away – they came to visit me within the week and they didn’t try to persuade me. I just felt like they were so open about the procedure, they weren’t hiding anything from me or trying to sell them selves.
Foster Carer, Gaynor added “It’s a privilege to provide a loving home for a child. Somewhere they can feel safe, secure and wanted. You don’t need to be a blood relation to be a family.”
For more information about fostering or adoption please contact Nancy or Steve at Caritas Care on 0800 652 6955 for an informal discussion or visit www.caritascare-ifoster.org.uk/contact