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Charity in call for more fosterers.

Byline: KATIE SANDS Reporter katie.sands@walesonline.co.uk

HUNDREDS more foster families need to be recruited in Wales during the coming year, according to a leading fostering charity - particularly families that can care for teenagers and siblings.

More than 400 new foster families are needed to ensure all children can be found the right foster home the first time, according to The Fostering Network.

The call comes at the start of this year's Foster Care Fortnight, which runs from today to May 21.

The annual campaign aims to raise the profile of fostering and to show how foster care transforms lives.

New figures, calculated by The Fostering Network, show that 7,180 families are needed throughout the UK, with at least 440 of those being in Wales.

The figures take into account a number of factors including the percentage of the foster carer workforce leaving each year and the rise in the numbers of children in care.

In a survey of fostering services across the UK, the charity found that 97% of fostering services have a particular need for foster carers for teenagers, while 86% of fostering services have a particular need for foster carers for sibling groups.

In Wales, over half of looked-after children are teenagers.

Colin Turner, director of The Fostering Network in Wales, said: "Without more foster families in Wales coming forward during 2017, and especially people who could foster teenagers and sibling groups, some children will find themselves living a long way from family, school and friends, being split up from brothers and sisters, or being placed with a foster carer who might not have the specific skills and experience to meet that particular child's needs.

"More foster carers means that a fostering service can match the needs of each child more closely with the skills that each foster carer brings, allowing them to find the right home for each child, first time. That is why, this Foster Care Fortnight, we are making a call across Wales for people to come forward to foster, particularly if they have the skills and experience to foster teenagers or sibling groups." | Anyone who has a spare room and thinks they may have the relevant skills or experience to be able to look after fostered children can find out more by visiting www.thefosteringnetwork.org.uk/couldyoufoster

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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 8, 2017
Words:388
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