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Figures reveal a record number of children placed in homes across Yorkshire
At least 800 new foster families are needed in Yorkshire and Humberside to look after the children in care, including 22 of them in Bradford, who need to be matched to a long-term permanent placement, according to figures published today.
The Fostering Network charity said that on any one day, there are now a record 7,500 children living with foster families in Yorkshire and Humberside, with many more coming in and out of care throughout the year.
Up to 627 of them are from Bradford, with 890 children still in the care of the district’s social services, which is just a small drop from the 895 children in care last March.
The 22 children have a placement, but need to be matched to a long-term permanent foster placement where they can live until they reach adulthood.
Councillor Ralph Berry, Bradford Council’s executive member for children’s services, said that the authority was doing very well compared to others.
“We know we need to continue getting more people to foster and adopt, and I would urge people to give us a ring,” he said. “This is a challenge we have to rise to and it is really important we get as many people to come forward as possible.”
He conceded that the figures had not moved much, but said that at one stage they had tipped over 900.
The Fostering Network said that more foster families were needed to replace the 13 per cent of the workforce who retire or leave every year.
They said that the figures show the scale of the challenge facing fostering services as they struggle to provide the right foster homes for all the children who need them.
The charity is also warning that without these new families, too many children will fail to get the care they need. Some will live in children’s homes when a foster family would be the best option for them.
Others will end up living with a foster carer a long way from the child’s home, school and family, or a carer who has space but may not have the experience and skills to meet the child’s specific needs.
To find out more about becoming a foster carer, people should contact Bradford Council on (01274) 434331.