Foster children face multiple home moves

Picture posed
Picture posed

ONE in five foster children in Wigan are forced to move home more than twice a year, new figures have revealed.

Of the 518 children currently looked after by Wigan Council, 90 moved homes twice or more between April 2014 and March 2015, a freedom of information request has revealed.

Submitted to all local authorities by charity Action for Children, the figures revealed that nationally one in four foster children move homes multiple times a year.

A spokesman for Wigan Council said: “Fostering is such an important role to offer stability and safety for children in times of need and we recognise it is always in the best interests of the child to find them a settled home atmosphere.

“The fostering teams alongside commissioning services try to carefully match children to the skill sets of foster carers.

“However in emergency situations this cannot always happen but all foster carers have robust link officer support from their social workers and the fostering service has a bespoke package of tailored training to assist carers in the fostering task of caring for children.

“Although we favour better than the national average there is always more we can do to reduce that and the hard work of our teams to find the best placements will always be a priority for us.”

The charity is warning that too many children in foster care are still being disrupted by repeated moves to new homes and has launched an appeal to find new carers.

It says that children and young people who regularly move between foster care homes are more likely to have poor social skills, reduced education outcomes and limited future employment prospects.

Sir Tony Hawkhead, chief executive of Action for Children, said: “Too many children in care are still facing instability in their lives. That’s why we urgently need more dedicated foster carers to help children and young people overcome trauma by helping them to love and trust again.”

To find out more visit actionforchildren.org.uk or call 0845 200 5162.