A Preston charity is appealing for foster carers to provide homes for the soaring number of children in care.Advertisement
Caritas Care, which is based in Preston and works across the North West, says children in care are increasingly being placed in unregulated homes, partly as a result of a lack of local foster carers for them. According to police and the children’s commissioner, children can be at risk of exploitation in these homes.
Official figures show that the number of children in care has risen by 28 per cent in the last decade, from 60,900 to 78,150.
Susan Swarbrick, CEO at Caritas Care, said: “The increase in the numbers of children in care is putting enormous pressure on an already over-stretched system.
“Children and young people can face instability and being moved away from their friends, family and home communities.
“Caritas Care works with Lancashire and other local authorities to find foster carers for these children and young people”.
Caritas Care is a regulated service registered with Ofsted, and in 2018 was judged to be an outstanding fostering service.
Susan said: “Our foster carers tell us that they really enjoy caring for children and young people and feel well trained and supported by the agency.
“The support includes 24/7 contact with social workers if needed and generous payments for the work that they do. Many go on to become career foster carers”.
Read more: Find out about becoming a foster parent with these Preston drop-in sessions
Foster Carers Leanne and Paul said: “Caritas Care was so ‘on it’ straight away – they came to visit within the week and they didn’t try to persuade us. We just felt like they were so open about the procedure, they weren’t hiding anything or trying to sell themselves.”
Foster Carer Gaynor said: “It’s a privilege to provide a loving home for a child. It’s somewhere they can feel safe, secure and wanted. You don’t need to be a blood relation to be family.”
For more information about fostering or adoption with Caritas Care, contact Nancy or Steve on 0800 652 6955.
Read more: Adoption information evening taking place in Preston
What do you think of the increase in children in care? Would you consider fostering? Let us know in the comments.