Foster children facing '˜uncertain future'

Children in need of foster care in the Yorkshire and Humber are facing an uncertain future, a charity said, as a new survey showed that more than 87 per cent per cent of adults in the region showed little or no interest in fostering '“ the highest level in the country.

Attitudes to fostering have been revealed in a new survey. Picture: Edmond Terakopian/PA Wire

Action for Children said the lack of interest in fostering was down to “fear of the unknown” and the figures revealed the extent of the fostering “crisis”.

According to the Fostering Network, 610 foster families are needed across Yorkshire.

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“These shocking figures reveal the true scale of the current fostering crisis,” said Action for Children North director John Egan.

“In Yorkshire and Humberside, we have more and more children and young people who desperately need the stability a foster carer can give them yet we have fewer and fewer foster parents.

“We think the lack of interest, in fostering teens in particular, is down to fear of the unknown as well as a shift towards a less altruistic society in general”, he added. “It can also be preconceptions about who can become a carer, with many people wrongly thinking they may not be suitable or have the skills.”

Former miner and grandfather-of-two Andy Fleming, 56, of Barnsley, began fostering with his wife Somsri two years ago. After being made redundant from mining in 1999, he worked in youth services.

He said: “Although I had a career working with young people and loved it, fostering is even more rewarding. In a 9-5 job you are limited to how much time you can spend with them, but as part of a family unit you really can make a difference and see them develop and progress.

“Of course there are challenges but it’s all about attitude.”