The UK has a serious shortage of foster parents for teenagers

In the UK there is a serious demand for foster parents who could take care of teenagers. This research has been released by the Fostering Network and shows the large demand for foster parents of this kind. The survey showed that surrounds 60 percent of fostering services have an immediate demand for adults who can take care of teenagers and help them find a home.

By being placed in a foster home teenagers have a better chance to finish their education than they would outside of foster care. Adults who choose to give a teenager a home will need to provide them with the support and love they need to succeed and become an adult.

Across the UK, a child comes into care and needs a foster family every 22 minutes. The Fostering Network estimates that an extra 8,750 foster families are needed in 2012 alone (regional breakdown below).

Robert Tapsfield, chief executive of the Fostering Network, said: “Some teenagers in care have faced trauma beyond what can be comprehended by most of us. This means that skilled foster carers are urgently needed to help them overcome their trauma, and to help them develop their self-esteem and expectations so that they can achieve to their full potential.”

In addition to the shortage of foster carers for teenagers, fostering services identified a growing need for foster carers who can specialise in caring for sibling groups (80 per cent) and children with disabilities (45 per cent).

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

Pearl Cotterell, who has fostered teenagers for the past seven years, said: “I always tell the teenagers I look after that no matter what, I’m not giving up on them, and I know they can turn their lives around.

“So many of these young people have never had anyone who believes in them before. If you can instil that faith in them, then it gives them self-worth, and a desire to try and improve themselves, and that makes all the difference.”

To find out more about fostering and to explore foster carer films and blogs, visit


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