ONE-THIRD OF East Midlanders believe they could become foster carers if they were to apply, more than in any other part of England, according to a poll released by leading charity the Fostering Network.
The YouGov poll, published to coincide with the start of Foster Care Fortnight, found that 32 per cent of adults in the East Midlands think they would be very or fairly likely to be accepted as foster carers if they applied within the next two years, compared with a UK average of 28 per cent. This is higher than in any other English region.
The survey also found that 78 per cent of East Midlanders felt positive about foster carers and the work that they do. Moreover 24 per cent said they would consider becoming a foster carer now or in the future.
Commenting on the findings, Foster Care Fortnight co-ordinator James Foyle said: “It’s fantastic to see that people across the East Midlands are so confident about fostering, and believe that they have the skills to become foster carers.
“Foster carers do an amazing job providing homes, stability and security for vulnerable children and young people. We need to translate that confidence into reality, so we can ensure that the right foster family exists for every child who needs one across the East Midlands.”
There are currently around 3,600 East Midlands children being looked after by foster families. The Fostering Network estimates that a further 500 families are needed in the East Midlands this year alone, particularly to look after teenagers and children with disabilities, as well as providing homes to groups of brothers and sisters.
This year’s theme for Foster Care Fortnight is “guess who fosters”, with the aim of smashing stereotypes about who can and can’t foster, and highlighting the skills and qualities actually needed to become a foster carer. See our skills checklist for more information.
To find out more about fostering and becoming a foster carer, see www.couldyoufoster.org.uk and search for your local fostering service.