Shortage in Foster Carers

Children are being sent to neighbouring counties to be looked after because there aren't enough foster carers in Oxfordshire.

There are around 400 children in need of a home across the county, with only 325 registered carers.

At the moment some children are having to stay outside the county. But Maria White from the Fostering Team says even if they stay within Oxfordshire, they could still be miles away from home.

"You might need to place a child in Didcot but not have carers available so we place them in Banbury. And then you think of the impact that has on travelling to school and things."

Oxfordshire County County have set a target of recruiting 25 more carers. Maria says they're looking for carers from all backgrounds.

"We need a diverse range of people with different skills and qualities to come forward so more children are placed in the right home, first time - whether it's for a short or long period or carers who can help out just at weekends."

Foster carers have close contact with the Family Placement Team and other professionals, supporting families and rebuilding relationships.

Meera Spillett, Director for Children, Young People and Families at Oxfordshire County Council was in foster care before being adopted.

"I believe being prepared to help children and young people who for many reasons are not able to remain with their own families shows a real commitment to helping others and in a broader sense is "fostering their future"."