Bury urgently needs more foster carers to come forward after the number of people looking to become foster parents in the borough plummeted by nearly two-thirds during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Figures from Bury Council’s fostering service Foster with Bury show that from 1 March to 31 May this year it had 53 enquiries from people wanting to be foster carers, compared to 138 in the same period in 2019 - a 62 per cent year-on-year decline.
The plunge in potential foster carers appears to have been replicated nationwide after a leading children’s charity Barnardo’s also released figures showing its enquiries had dropped by almost half (47 per cent).
Councillor Tamoor Tariq, deputy leader of Bury Council and cabinet member for children, young people and skills, said: “We urgently need more foster carers to come forward so thatchildren and young people in Bury, who may not have had the best start in life through no fault of their own, are kept safe and have a stable and caring home to grow up in.
“We understand that there is a great deal of uncertainty in the future caused by the Coronavirus pandemic and that many people have experienced changes in their circumstances, which may have led to this drop in enquiries from people looking to foster.
“However, lockdown has hit families hard and led to an increase on pressures caused by job loss, worsening mental health and poverty that may lead to children and young people being at greater risk of being in vulnerable or abusive situations.”
In order to be eligible to foster you must be over 21 years old, be a full-time resident in the UK or have leave to remain, and have a spare bedroom. Whatever your race, gender, sexuality, living arrangements, age or employment status, Foster with Bury wants to hear from you.
It doesn’t matter whether you are:
- Heterosexual, gay or lesbian
- Married, living with someone or single
- Living in your own home or renting
- Able-bodied or living with a disability
- Working or not
- Living with your own children or without
- Minority ethnic background
- Male or female.
To find out more, please visit www.fosterwithbury.co.uk and fill in our contact form, or call 0800 9555 311 and a member of the Foster with Bury team will contact you.
Press release issued: 25 June 2020.
Notes to Editors
In 2019 during March there were 53 enquiries to Foster with Bury from potential foster carers, in April there were 37 and in May 42. However, in 2020 this dropped across the board to 12 enquiries in March, 20 in April and 21 in May.
*Barnardo’s statistics are available here