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This week marks the start of Foster Care Fortnight - a yearly campaign to raise the profile of fostering and to show how foster care transforms lives. In addition, the fortnight aims to increase the number of foster families in its biggest recruitment drive. Significantly, over 8000 new foster families are needed over the next twelve months with the greatest need being for older children, sibling groups and disabled children.

The Fostering Network has calculated that across Yorkshire and the Humber 910 new foster families are needed within the next year.

Without such families, sibling groups are separated and in some circumstances children are placed with carers without the relevant skills or experience to meet their specific needs.

This years theme is #changeafuture highlighting the positive impact foster care can have on children’s futures.

Kevin Williams, Chief Executive of the Fostering Network said “fostering is life-changing for both the child or young person being fostered and for the family the cares for them...Across the UK a child comes into care in need of a family every twenty minutes. On any given day in Yorkshire and the Humber there are around 8000 children in care, the vast majority of whom are living with foster families who are working tirelessly to ensure that these children and young people experience the stability and security of a nurturing, loving home.”

The figures provided by the Fostering Network speak for themselves. Without Foster Carers, siblings are split, left in placements that do not meet their needs or even placed a significant distance from their local area. The work of Foster Carers is crucial to support children in their time of need.

Anyone interested in fostering is encouraged to visit thefosteringnetwork.org.uk to find out more.