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Fostering Statistics UK 2019/2020 – How many foster carers are there?

Foster Carers play a critical part in the lives and upbringing of thousands upon thousands of children in care in the UK. But just how many foster carers are there? 


How many of us would consider being a Foster Carer?

According to our recent Google Survey (500 adults in the UK questioned between 11th and 14th August 2019), just over 40% would be at least open to the idea of taking on the role of Foster Carer, while almost a tenth state they would definitely become Foster Carers.


How many of us would consider being a Foster Carer in the UK?

How many Foster Carers are there in the UK? 


The most recent Oftsed Fostering in England report states that: 


  • Currently there are 73,530 Foster Carers in the UK. This figure has been declining over the past few years and appears to be continuing to do so.


  • In 2018, the number of fostering households had decreased by 1% since the previous year.

Who is the typical Foster Carer in the UK? 


According to the State of the Nation’s Foster Care 2019 Summary Report, the typical Foster Carer in the UK is:


  • Aged 45 – 54
  • Female
  • Fostering with a partner
  • Has 1 or 2 children in placement
  • Has no birth children living at home

Foster Carers’ Opinions 


The same report found that Foster Parents in the UK tend to hold the following views and attitudes towards fostering:  


  • 55% of Foster Carers would recommend fostering to others who may be considering it
  • 89% of Foster Carers say that they foster because they want to make a difference to the lives of children in care 

Fostering Interest in the UK 


  • 880 searches are made every month in the UK for ‘How to become a foster parent’, yet searches for this term have been declining overtime 

Fostering Interest in the UK

Children in Care 

The stand-alone charity ‘Home For Good’ recently released their Statistical Report for 2019. The report revealed the following information about children and young people in care: 


  • Everyday, 109 children and young people enter the care system in the UK. That’s almost 40,000 a year. 
  • In September 2018, 2,730 children were waiting for adoption in England. 41% of whom had been waiting for over 18 months. 
  • 63% of children enter the care system due to abuse or neglect. Reasons for becoming looked after are presented in the following chart:

Why do kids end up in care?

How Much Are Foster Carers Paid?

Foster Carers are paid based on their individual circumstances and a range of factors are taken into account. Here are the average weekly payments for Foster Carers in the UK: 


 Babies Pre-primary PrimarySecondary (11-15) Secondary (16-17)
South East £138£142£158£179£211
Rest of England £125£128£141£161£188

Figures obtained from The Fostering Network Fees Survey Report 2017-2018

FREE Fostering Guides

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During your lunch break, or the time you spend checking Facebook, another child will come into care. Right now, that child is thinking: 'Who cares?' More Videos
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