The government has failed to tackle a growing recruitment crisis in foster care according to new findings.
An official Department for Education assessment of the system highlights the increasingly difficulty faced by the sector in recruiting high quality foster carers. Most are aged over 50 and a proportion are lost each year to retirement. The government has not done enough to encourage new families to foster and as a result of the growing shortfall, many vulnerable children with special needs are left without any appropriate support.
The assessment insists:
“One of the biggest, if not the biggest, issue in fostering is how to secure the future recruitment and retention of enough high-quality foster carers. There is no clear policy on how this is going to be achieved.”
The findings were based on an analysis of existing data alongside fresh interviews with foster carers and local authority representatives.
Other topics discussed include the effect on foster carers of local authority and the official support offered to them.
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Photo by Stephan Hochhaus via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.