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Foster Care Enquiries Drop to Lowest Level in Five Years

The number of initial enquiries from potential foster carers in England has fallen to its lowest level in five years, according to a recently published Government report entitled ‘Recruitment & Retention in Mainstream Fostering’.

The report reveals that 125,195 initial enquiries were received by local authorities and Independent Foster Agencies (IFAs) in 2022-2023. This was a 9% drop from the previous year. Enquiries to IFAs in 2022 -2023 made up 79% of the total number of enquiries and accounted for 62% of applications.

It typically takes 8 months for an application to be a foster carer to be approved. The Government report highlights that 75% of mainstream foster home applications – excluding fostering by family and friends – were completed within this time period, which is in line with the ‘Fostering Services: National Minimum Standards’. A higher proportion of IFA applications (83%) than local authority applications (63%) were completed in this time frame.

James Townend, Managing Director, Fitzgerald Fostering commented, “At a time when there is a higher demand for foster carers than ever before, it is extremely concerning that the number of people potentially interested in becoming foster carers is declining. Given that only a small number of initial enquiries result in applications to become foster carers, we need to be encouraging more people from a diverse range of backgrounds to consider fostering.

“Of course, we realise that many people make an initial enquiry and then decide not to progress to the next stage – perhaps they don’t have a spare room, their circumstances change during the process or they simply change their mind. However, we are always happy to talk to people who are interested in finding out more so that they can decide whether fostering is for them. Whilst there can be challenges along the way, fostering can also be extremely rewarding – and at Fitzgerald Fostering we provide the highest levels of support to foster carers, ensuring the best possible outcomes for the children and young people in their care.”

If you can provide a safe, nurturing environment for a child needing a foster placement in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire or the surrounding areas, we would love to hear from you. Please contact Fitzgerald Fostering on 01753 550031.

At Fitzgerald Fostering, we are with you every step of the way.

AuthorFitzgerald Fostering

DateApril 12, 2024

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