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01.06.15

Teens in foster care moved too often

Teenagers in foster care are being moved to new homes too often, according to new research.

A survey from The Fostering Network found that two in five (40%) of fostered teenagers are already living with their third foster family since coming into care.

It also found that a quarter of fostered teenagers are living with at least their fourth family in care, 17% are with their fifth family and 5% of fostered teenagers are living with at least their 10th family in care.

The survey also found that almost one in three (29%) of children aged five to 10 are living with at least their third family in care, with one in five (18%) living with at least their fourth family in care. 

About 52,500 of the 63,000 children in care in the UK live with foster families. Only about 10% are adopted, leaving the vast majority to spend their entire childhoods in foster care, The Fostering Network said.

It added that being moved from home to home can have a detrimental effect on children’s education, wellbeing and ability to make and maintain relationships

Many children who are moved from home to home end up living a long way from family, friends and school and are split up from siblings.

The Fostering Network estimates that there is an urgent need to recruit 8,370 new foster carers across the UK in 2015, to meet the needs of the rising number of children coming into care. 

Jackie Sanders, director of The Fostering Network, said: “As each year passes, we see more and more children coming into care. We need people who can open their heart, and their homes, to vulnerable children and young people and use their skills to help support them to reach their full potential. 

“In particular we need people who have the skills, patience and passion to look after teenagers who may have had a really tough time and be facing some real challenges, and to offer them love, stability and security.

“Fostering services throughout the UK are working hard to recruit and support foster carers with the right skills so that each child who needs it can have the home and family they need and deserve.” 

The survey was completed in April by 1,125 foster carers about 1,608 children in their care.

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