Fostering system at risk of reaching ‘breaking point’, warns Ofsted

England’s care system needs an “urgent boost to the number of foster carers” to avoid reaching “breaking point”.

That was the warning from Ofsted as it released its annual fostering statistics last week, which showed there were 88,180 approved fostering places, 55,990 of which were filled, and 45,370 approved fostering households, as of 31 March 2021.

But despite the latter being a record figure, Ofsted said the statistics painted a “bleak picture”, with “too few carers with the right skills” to support the number of children needing a placement.

Over the past five years, the number of approved places and approved households have only increased by 2% while the number of children in placements rose by 9%.

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