Statement on the rising number of newborns coming into care

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Media release
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Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network, said in response to the publication of research from the University of Lancaster: “We know that when some people who become parents are not provided with appropriate support, then there is a huge risk that their children will become subject to care proceedings. It is especially vital that people who have already had a child taken into care receive support that meets their individual needs to ensure that their risk of becoming pregnant, until they are in a position to best support a child, is reduced.

“The Government recognises that a cycle of care is damaging not just to the individuals involved but society as a whole. We urge them to ensure that local government is adequately resourced in a range of areas, from early intervention, to having enough properly supported children’s and adult social workers, to ensuring that fostering services are able to recruit the number of foster carers needed to offer homes to the increasing number of children coming into care. This is especially important in increasing the number of foster carers who are able to support mother and baby placement, children with disabilities, and sibling groups.

“Only last week Ofsted revealed that the number of approved foster carers had dropped in the last year. If the disparity in support for fostering services compared to adoption continues at the rate it has been, then how can the cycle of care be broken? 

“The Fostering Network works with foster carers to provide them with the tools to meet the needs of the children who they look after, but for children and families to be able to move forward, the Government needs to ensure that families are protected, cared for, and supported. This would mean that after a foster carer has given a child love and support, then that child has the best opportunity to be able to move back to a home with their birth parents, and together they can break their families own cycle of care. Foster carers can also continue to play an important role in supporting families by keeping contact with the child, and their family, once they have returned home.

“We need to see families supported, and we need to see foster care adequately resourced. Our children deserve nothing less than a 100 per cent effort in making sure that they’ve a life where they can flourish.”

If you believe that you have the skills to foster, then visit our website and contact your local fostering service.