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23 January 2013
"Valuing a child's strengths, interests and weaknesses" has been identified as one of the most important characteristics needed to provide a stable and loving foster placement for children in care, according to an Action for Children report published today.*
'At a glance,' an annual evaluation into our adoption and fostering services, comes as UK children's charities renew calls for more adopters and foster carers to come forward.
With 80 per cent of all children in care living with foster families, it's estimated fostering services across the UK need to recruit an additional 8,750 foster families in the next 12 months.
'At a glance' found that Action for Children successfully placed 259 children in foster families last year - many of whom are older, disabled, part of sibling groups or have a history of trauma or abuse.
Action for Children's Operational Director of Fostering, Adoption and Permanency, Darren Johnson, explained,"For over 140 years, we have been working with the UK's most vulnerable children and young people - which is exactly why our services focus on those who are at risk of being overlooked when it comes to fostering and adoption. We believe it's imperative to find the best possible placement for each and every child; one which will help them achieve their full potential and grow into confident, happy adults."
Almost 95 per cent of children and young people who were placed through our services last year said that their Action for Children foster carer had helped them.
"Before I came to stay with Rachel and Andrew I was taking drugs and drinking alcohol and getting into trouble with the police. My life felt completely out of control, so bad I tried to kill myself," said Jessica, aged 15.
"Rachel and Andrew have encouraged me to be proud of who I am and to feel good about myself. I love them and their three kids so much. We [Jessica is placed with her five-year-old brother] are so happy there."
Nigel, 55, and his wife Anne, from the Scottish Borders, recently became foster carers:""We have enjoyed watching our young person become a real family member. He has overcome many of the issues that were previously in his life, simply by being part of the family and having a regular routine.
"You might not think that you have the necessary skills to foster, but really it is a case of using your own life skills and experiences to help a foster child. The rewards come in many different ways. And the support that you get is invaluable, the whole process to become a foster carer is easy to follow."
* Based on an evaluation of our fostering services and a survey of our foster carers