Children in need of foster carers

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A chronic shortage of people willing to offer children a safe and secure home has led Barnardo’s to launch an urgent recruitment drive for foster carers in South Yorkshire.

As director of Barnardo’s Yorkshire, I am calling on people in Sheffield, Doncaster, Barnsley and Rotherham to please consider helping children who are being left in care for years just because there are not enough people to foster them.

Applications for children to be taken into care have been on the rise, however there is a national shortage of 10,000 foster carers, leaving children in care paying the price.

Quite simply, the huge shortfall of foster carers at a time when there is an increase in referrals of children amounts to a crisis.

I feel it is now more crucial than ever to ensure that stable and secure foster placements are available for children who are in desperate need.

Barnardo’s first placed children with families more than 100 years ago.

Our experienced and friendly staff guide foster carers through a detailed matching process and provide ongoing support.

We also run a series of parenting courses aimed at preparing foster carers for the process and equipping them with the skills to deal with children with a range of needs – and we offer 24-hour advice and back-up.

Foster carers receive a weekly professional fee to carry out their role, as well as the costs of caring for each child.

We are particularly keen to hear from people who might be able to look after children aged between five and 18 as well as sibling groups, as these are hardest to place.

Barnardo’s does not exclude anyone on the grounds of marital status, gender, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity or employment status with foster carers coming from all walks of life.

There is no upper age limit for foster carers and the minimum age is 21.

Please call us on 0870 2408342 for an informal chat or visit

Steve Oversby, director, Barnardo’s Yorkshire