With a child taken into care every 20 minutes, Foster Care Fortnight aims to tackle and raise awareness of this problem.

Whilst this is just an approximate statistic by The Fostering Network, it reveals just how many children there are under the care of local authorities.

Foster Care Fortnight, which began on Monday 8 May, is an awareness raising campaign to highlight the vital work foster carers do and the need for more foster carers to come forward.

The Fostering Network claims that approximately 9,070 new foster families are needed across the UK over the next 12 months.

In Manchester, the number of children who are looked after by the local authorities is considerably higher than the rest of England, with an average of 108 children per 10,000 of the population.

This figure is taken from an annual report covering 2015/16 and it highlights the need for more foster carers in Greater Manchester to take care of the large number of looked after children.

Children can go into the care of local authorities for a number of reasons ranging from abuse to abandonment.

However, regardless of the reason, all children need and deserve shelter, stability and guidance, which is why foster carers are so vitally important.

Whilst there is a general appeal for foster carers, there is an urgent need for foster carers willing to look after older children, sibling groups, disabled children and unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

Below is an interview with a couple who have experienced fostering children for many years; here they share the highs and lows of being foster carers, revealing just how rewarding it can be.

To find out more, click here for The Fostering Network, or alternatively Salford City Council and Manchester City Council have plenty of resources to find out more and work out if you could be a good foster carer.

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