Foster carer shortages are deepening in England with one in eight fostering households having quit, and more leaving than joining, over the past year.
Ofsted’s latest fostering statistics, released earlier this month, showed that in 2021-22, 5,435 mainstream fostering households deregistered compared to 4,035 that were approved to care and still active as of 31 March 2022. Those deregistering represented 13% of all those who had been approved during 2021-22.
This was combined with 2021-22 seeing the lowest number of applications to foster in several years, at 8,280.
The number of newly approved mainstream households still active as of 31 March 2022 was 18% lower than in 2018, while there were 4% fewer such households, and 5% fewer available places for children, than four years ago.