The Fostering Network Wales is calling on fostering services across the country to renew their efforts to give more authority to foster carers as new statistics, released by the Welsh Government this week, reveal the ongoing importance of foster care in Wales.
The figures show that 85 per cent of children in care and living away from home in Wales are in foster homes, the highest proportion in the UK.
Freda Lewis, director of the Fostering Network Wales, said of the latest figures: “The number of children in care in Wales has risen every year for at least the past 10 years. These new figures confirm the crucial role that foster care plays in offering homes to the vast majority of these children.
“We would like to see local authorities reinvigorating their efforts to delegate authority for day-to-day decisions about the care of these children to foster carers, to help make their fostering experience as positive as possible.
“We want children in care to be able to grow up with safety, security and stability and by ensuring that foster carers can make basic decisions, fostering services can improve their retention of the foster carer workforce and meet the needs of children in their care.'
The Fostering Network Wales examined the state of foster care in 2012 with Fostering: 10 years on. It outlined how foster care has changed in the past decade and the challenges it faces to continue to meet the needs of Wales’s most vulnerable children.
Lewis continued: “Our research shows us that foster carers across Wales do, and have consistently done, a great job in meeting the needs of vulnerable children and could do more with a greater level of authority given to them. So rather than preventing foster carers from doing their job, let’s give them the recognition and support they deserve as a core part of team working with a child.”
You can find the latest statistics on children in care in Wales on the Welsh Government website.
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