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10 August 2012
Demand is rising nationally for foster carers, it is estimated that there is a shortage of around 8,750 foster carers across the UK. Action for Children has a flexible approach to fostering which focuses on the individual needs of the children we place. A diverse range of foster carers is needed to reflect the needs of the vulnerable children and young people who need a place to stay when they cannot live with their own families for a variety of reasons.
Children entering care can have complex, multiple needs which require individualised support. To reflect this Action for Children provides a range of services including Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care (MTFC) for care of challenging young people mainly referred through youth justice systems.
It is now more important than ever for local authorities and independent agencies to effectively support professional foster carers. Providing foster carers with the tools and knowledge to manage the complex needs of those in care will ensure local authorities and other agencies develop an informed, motivated and professional foster care workforce.
This kind of support for foster carers will also improve the stability of foster placements and reduce the number of placement breakdowns which is crucial to achieving the best outcomes for children. Effective support should also ensure that foster carersare retained long term. Action for Children is supporting Community Care on the Supporting Foster Carers conference. Those supporting foster carers have the chance to learn from others in their industry and develop new techniques by attending Community Care's conference on this topic to be held on 18th September in London. The Supporting Foster Carers Conferenceis a one-day event designed to pass on skills and best practice to those supporting foster families and carers to provide the best possible support for children in care.