News Date: Wednesday 10th May 2006
Tim: South East has an alarming shortage of Foster Carers
In the light of figures showing that the South East needs more than 850 extra foster carers to fulfil the needs of looked after children, East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton has called on his constituents to think about whether they could become a foster carer.
The figures have been released by The Fostering Network who are co-ordinating Foster Care Fortnight which runs from 8th May- 21st May. During the two week period, fostering services all over the UK will be holding imaginative, innovative and fun events to raise awareness of fostering.
In his capacity as Shadow Children's Minister Tim has tabled a Parliamentary Motion calling on the Government to work towards improving the health and education outcomes for looked after children through better supporting their foster carers.
"I am delighted to be supporting the exceptional work done by foster carers. For many children their guardianship will mean the difference between a life of social exclusion and life of full of achievements.
"In the UK, 50,000 children live with foster families and it is estimated that a further 10,000 foster carers are needed to ensure that each of these children have a secure childhood and the support to reach their potential at school. The shortage of foster carers mean that foster children are frequently moved and separated from siblings and friends thus increasing the strife and instability that they face.
"Foster Care Fortnight is the perfect opportunity for my constituents to learn more about fostering and to consider whether they would be interested in fostering themselves."
Note to editors
1) Foster Care Fortnight is an annual campaign co-ordinated by leading fostering charity the Fostering Network. The Fostering Network is a charity for all those involved in fostering, and exists to ensure that fostered children receive the highest standards of care. For more information on fostering visit www.fostering.net. For more information on Foster Care Fortnight please contact Vicki Swain by email at Vicki.email@example.com or by telephone on 020 7620 6434.
2) Tim has tabled the following Early Day Motion:
FOSTER CARE FORTNIGHT 2006
That this House notes that Foster Care Fortnight 2006 will run from 8th to 21st May; praises the exceptional work done by the country's 37,000 foster families; thanks these foster carers for the positive impact that their guardianship has on the children and young people who live with them; congratulates the Fostering Network for co-ordinating Foster Care Fortnight and supports the theme, fostering bright futures, which has been chosen by the Fostering Network as the focus for this year's awareness raising campaign; in the light of this theme, recognises that despite the hard work of foster carers the health and education outcomes for looked after children are still worryingly poor; acknowledges that the support foster carers give the 50,000 children who live with them is essential to the children's achievements; and calls on the Government to recognise this also in its support of foster carers.
Please visit http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=30586&SESSION=875 for further information.