Ofsted have released figures suggesting that the gap between foster care demand and supply continues to widen
Their report, Fostering in England 2020 to 2021, shows that, despite the numbers of fostering households and foster carers in England being at their highest ever levels, the increases are not keeping up with demand in the sector.
The report suggests that, although record levels of enquiries were received from prospective fostering households, the conversion rate to applications continued to fall with a large difference in conversion rates from initial enquiries to applications between both LA and IFA sectors.
Ofsted’s national director for social care, Yvette Stanley said: “These statistics paint a bleak picture. Foster carers make such a difference to children’s lives. But year on year we see more children coming into foster care, and too few carers with the right skills to give them the support they deserve. How long can this go on before the care system reaches breaking point?
“We rarely see children coming into care who don’t need to be, but with the right help earlier, some may be able to remain with their families. We also need to urgently boost the number of foster carers, making sure they, and the children they care for, get the right support.”
Read the full report here.