The Department for Education has today (September 28) released annual figures for England that show a rise of just over 2,000 in the number of children in care. Foster care placements account for three quarters of these children and there is an increase in the amount young people in staying put placements.
The figures confirm the central role that fostering plays in the care system, which further cements the need to ensure that the right foster carers are available for each child, and that foster carers receive the proper financial and practical support needed.
We’re pleased to see that more young people are benefiting from staying put arrangements but the pace of change simply isn’t fast enough. There is still a range of cultural, financial and logistical obstacles getting in the way of making staying put a reality for all young people who want it. Staying put must be seen as the new “norm” by all those involved. You can read more about our staying put guidance here.
With increasing numbers of children in care, it is essential that the Westminster Government continues to invest in all the services that help meet the needs of these children. We urge the Government to make the most of the opportunity that the stocktake is offering to ensure that fostering is fit for its crucial role in the 21st century care system, providing short and long-term homes and families for so many children.