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Barnardo’s is urgently calling for more people to consider becoming a foster carer after the numbers of children referred to the charity’s fostering services across the UK shot up. The number of children needing care has increased by 36% over 12 months.

Barnardo’s is looking for more foster carers to ensure that when a child needs a loving, stable and safe family, there are local carers available. In particular, they are looking for people who would consider caring for siblings as they can offer each other support and it can help reduce feelings of isolation. The number of sibling groups referred to its services in the UK over the same period rose by 31%.

A new YouGov survey for Barnardo’s encouragingly shows that 14% of adults in Great Britain would consider fostering a child aged 18 or under in the next five years. However, that figure drops to just 6% when asked the same question about fostering siblings.

The survey shows how vital it is for siblings to remain together with 70% of adults saying it was important that they and their sibling were together when they grew up and 60% of respondents who had a sibling saying it would have had a negative impact on them if they had been separated while growing up.

foster parents LGBTBarnardo’s hopes to hear from people from all backgrounds from around the UK, including BAME and LGBT communities. It welcomes passionate individuals from all walks of life. If you are over 21, have a spare room, are a UK resident and have the time and commitment to support a child – you could be the special person they need.

Barnardo’s has 100 years of experience in fostering. Experts provide all the training needed and provide support 24/7. Foster carers will also get financial support, including a carer’s allowance to help make a positive difference to a child’s life.

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What is a foster parent?

A foster parent is temporary or permanent care for the biological parents. The care should be a safe and secure environment for the foster child, usually geographically close to their family home.

This can be incredibly rewarding and in 60% of cases, children are taken into care because of abuse or neglect. There are over 78,000 children in care in the UK. If you are interested if knowing more, our guide to parenting tips for foster parents and how to find the right foster agency might be worth a read.