When those who are fortunate look into fostering facts, all they see are myths and falsehoods regarding the subject. The biggest one? They’re in it for the money. As it requires a lot to become a foster carer, this is simply untrue.
People decide to become foster carers for many different reasons, but there is one main one. They want to make a difference in a child’s life. There are plenty of parents out there who have done a great job raising their own children. Now, they see no reason as to why they can’t be role models for vulnerable children who need it most.
Foster care parents provide tremendous amounts of love and support. Because of this, throughout our time as a foster care agency, we have seen so many graduate university, and rise above any trauma and struggles they experienced in their younger years.
To help you get a clearer picture of the state of the foster care system today, here are 14 fostering facts that may surprise you.
Surprising Fostering Facts
Foster Care Fact #1
On any given day in the UK, there are 83,000 children and young persons in care. Eighty percent of these children are living with foster families. That’s more than 64,000 children on any given day living with 55,000 foster families across the UK. The turnover rate is about 30,000 children entering into care, but now that Covid’s effect has been daunting, about half of that number have been leaving.
Foster Care Fact #2
A typical foster carer profile is
- aged 45 – 54
- Fosters with a partner
- Has 1 or 2 children in placement
- and has no birth children living at home.
Foster Care Fact #3
In most cases, not all of the children leaving foster care are returned to their home or a relative’s home. Some have age out of care, some are adopted, and others are placed under a residence or special guardianship order.
Foster Care Fact #4
There is a shortfall of about 10,000 placements at any given time. When you step back from the statistics and consider the reality of 10,000 vulnerable children without a foster home, the impact can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, the main reason local authorities remove children from their birth home is neglect and abuse.
Foster Care Fact #5
This surprising foster care fact tells us that children in foster care are seven times more likely to have depression, and five times more likely to develop symptoms of anxiety than those children who are in better situations.
Foster Care Fact #6
Children in foster care are often removed from their family at birth. However, the majority of children in care are over the age of ten years old. If there are multiple children in the family, more often than not, they will be taken into care together.
Research shows that keeping siblings together is great for them as it increases their chances of having a better future. Foster agencies like us at Apple Fostering will try our very best to make this happen.
Foster Care Fact #7
Unfortunately, one out of every five children who have spent their lives in foster care and age out of the system tend to lack a home when they turn 18. This is really unfortunate, but does happen in the unlikely case a foster agency struggles to find a suitable match.
Foster Care Fact #8
By the time foster children turn 24, only half of them will have stable and steady employment. In most cases, the same percentage develop substance abuse due to bad experiences throughout life.
Foster Care Fact #9
This fostering fact tells us that if you were to compare foster children to veterans, then you will most likely find that they suffer twice as much from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Foster Care Fact #10
One out of every two foster youth has dealt with four or more adverse childhood experiences.
Foster Care Fact #11
56% of children in foster care are boys. The majority (39%) were between 10 and 15 years old, 24% were 16 or over and 18% were between 5 and 9 years old. Of the rest, 5% were under a year old and 13% were between 1 and 4 years old.
Foster Care Fact #12
Ethnically, 74% were white, 10% were of mixed racial background, 8% were Black or Black British, 8% were from other ethnic groups.
Foster Care Fact #13
72% of the children and young people were living with foster carers, 12% were living in secure units, children’s homes, or hostels, and 7% were placed with their parents. 3% were placed for adoption and 4% living independently or in residential employment.
So, What Now?
Here at Apple Fostering, we are first and foremost a community. Everyone who is a part of us, from our creator, to our mentors, to our wonderful carers, even our writer, we’re all here to support the most important aim of the agency. We want to improve the lives of children and young people who are at a disadvantage, by simply getting our message of love out there. All children, in our out of foster care, have a right to achieve.
If you read this post and felt heartbreak at the surprising foster care facts, then you’re definitely ready to inspire and motivate disadvantaged children. You’re ready to help them live their lives afresh, and see that they have rights and a path, just like every other child out there. When a foster child is able to do this, you’re going to be the one that gives them an incredible feeling of satisfaction.
Apple Fostering and our foster carers have enabled foster children all over London to make tremendous strides forward. This happens because we provide only the best support for our foster carers, so in turn, they provide the best support to the children they take out of our care.
If our fostering facts have piqued your interest and you would like to learn more, or be a part of what makes a difference in the world, then click here to contact us today. We will explain the process – from your initial application to becoming an approved foster carer.
Remember – calling us will not result in any obligation, we’d just love to provide you with some more information so you can make a well-thought-out decision.
We look forward to welcoming you into our home.