Barnardo’s adoption and fostering week: 9-15th January 2012

19 Jun 2019 | Naomi Angell

New statistics out today to mark the beginning of Barnardo’s Fostering and Adoption Week shows that urgent attention needs to be paid to the care of older and more vulnerable children in care.

Nearly twelve thousand (43%) of all the children who entered care in England last year were aged 10 and over, including children as old as 16 and 17. Out of this figure 80% entered care for the first time.

These new statistics suggest that whilst there is considerable focus on placing babies and younger children with families the needs of older children are being forgotten. The situation is worrying as there is a general shortage of foster families across the UK, with at least 8,750 new foster families needing to be found within the next 12 months.

Barnardo’s is urging more people to consider putting themselves forward as potential foster parents – particularly for older children.

Chief executive of Barnardo’s Anne Marie Carrie says “all children deserve a loving home and older children need looking after just as much as infants and babies in order to thrive. We urgently need more people to consider becoming foster parents to children over the age of ten”.

Carrie continues “We have seen many older children we work with blossom into healthy, happy, adults after being placed with the right foster family – which is why I want to encourage more people to open their homes and their hearts to help to transform an older child’s life”.

Naomi Angell, adoption lawyer at Osbornes Solicitors LLP comments “these recent figures demonstrate that there is a huge need for more people to consider becoming the carer of an older child. Last year 9,400 children aged over 10 years old entered care for the first time- all of which deserve to be placed in a loving home. The Government has made pledges to reform the adoption and care system reducing the amount of time a child remains in care, which is a positive development. The next step must be further support and assistance to those individuals who foster and adopt children”.

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