Number of Children Referred for Foster Care Increased by More Than a Third Over the Past Year of Lockdowns

There was a time when commentators seemed obsessed with telling their readers that they rather enjoyed being locked down – avoiding lengthy commutes, spending time with family in the garden and rediscovering forgotten hobbies. Needless to say, this joy was not universal. Others (likely those without the gardens or without the funds for hobbies) found lockdown to be particularly difficult, as is reflected by figures showing that family breakdowns led to a surge in the number of children referred for foster care in the year up until July 31st, 2021. The Telegraph has the story.

The 36% increase in referrals to Barnardo’s, from 14,130 to 19,144 in the 12 months to July 31st, 2021, prompted an urgent appeal by the charity for foster parents.

Barnardo’s is targeting foster parents who would be willing to care for siblings left without a family after a 31% increase in their numbers.

Lyn Perry, Joint Chief Executive of Barnardo’s, said job losses caused by the pandemic combined with mental ill health had contributed to the sharp rise.

“The pandemic and lockdown measures have piled pressure onto struggling families with job losses, deepening poverty and worsening mental health, contributing to family breakdown,” she said. …

In England the rise in the total number of children referred to Barnardo’s fostering services was 40%, in Wales it was 5% and in Northern Ireland it was 20%. In Scotland, however, there was a decrease of 17% in total referrals.

Worth reading in full.

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