HUNDREDS more foster families are needed in the south west to meet the needs of youngsters in the area.

The Fostering Network estimates that 540 families are needed in the region and they are particularly keen to hear from families who can foster teenagers or groups of brothers and sisters.

The figure has been published on the first day of The Fostering Network’s Foster Care Fortnight. Around 8,100 families are needed across the UK.

Without more foster families coming forward during 2018 some children will find themselves living a long way from their family, school and friends, being split up from brothers and sisters, or being placed with a foster carer who might not have the right skills and experience to meet their specific needs.

Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network, said: "Foster carers do something amazing on behalf of our society, opening their hearts and homes to fostered children, often offering them their first experience of a stable, secure and caring home.

"Looking after fostered children, many of whom who have experienced trauma, abuse or neglect, can be challenging. But it is that challenge, along with the reward of seeing these children and young people flourish, that many foster carers say makes them proud to foster."

People who think they have the relevant skills and experience to be able to look after fostered children, enjoy a challenge and have a spare room can find out more at