Children aged over 10 urgently need more foster parents, a charity has warned.
According to children’s charity Barnardo’s, more foster carers prefer to take in babies and younger children, leading to the needs of older children being “forgotten.”
Official figures analysed by the charity show nearly 12,000 (43%) of those who entered foster care in England last year were children aged 10 and over. And for 80% of them, it was their first time being in care.
At least 8,750 new foster families must be found with the next year, according to Barnardo’s.
“All children deserve a loving home and older children need looking after just as much as infants and babies in order to thrive,” said Anne Marie Carrie, the charity’s chief executive.
The charity’s call for older children in foster care to be looked after has been supported by the Department for Education. “High quality foster care is critical to improving the lives of children in care, to give them the opportunity to build stable relationships,” said a spokesman.
“We are encouraging more people to come forward to adopt and foster, particularly children from minority ethnic backgrounds, older children and those with disabilities,” the spokesman stated.