Vulnerable children at risk as England faces shortfall of 25,000 foster families

England faces a 25,000 shortfall in foster families over the next five years, amid complaints of a lack of support for existing carers and a broken system that pits councils against private agencies for potential candidates.

Around a fifth of foster households exit the system each year, leaving local councils and specialist agencies scrambling to recruit families just to keep the current levels. 

Experts fear that local councils will face increasing pressure to place vulnerable children with families unsuitable for their needs, leading to them passing through several homes and becoming more unstable.

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