Every 15 minutes in the UK, a child or teenager will come into care. The reasons why they’re unable to remain with their birth family are vast and varied; every child’s story is unique. But these children need the same things that all children need to thrive. They need stability and consistency, with as little disruption as possible. They need to feel safe, both in their environment and with the people who care for them. They need love and support from a caregiver who they feel they can trust.
But right now, there just aren’t enough people who can care for these children and young people. Right across the UK there’s a significant shortage of foster carers. Nearly a quarter of young people in care are over the age of 16, yet there are limited high-quality options for accommodating these young people in safe, appropriate places. There are children waiting more than 18 months for an adoptive family who can offer them the care they need – this includes children who are over the age of five, children who are Black, children with a disability and children in a sibling group.