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More foster families are needed to meet the growing number of children going into care. That's the call from The Foster Care Co-operative in Wales who say there's a shortfall of nearly 600 new foster parents, and say people are being put off because they aren't sure whether they will meet the requirements.

Rachel's like many other sixteen-year-olds.  She is in college and has a part-time job.  But she's also fostered - living with Gilly Davies and her husband in Merthyr Tydfil.

“I was a young carer when I was living at home and things broke down... I just couldn't balance both.  So I went into care, and I've had three placements.  This one's been really successful.”  Says Rachel

Gilly has two-grown up children of her own, but says those she fosters are very much part of the family; "Being a Foster Carer isn't like a 9 to 5 it is a 24 hour job.  When a new child comes to live with you, it does take time to get to know each other and settle into a routine.  It is hard work, we have tough times - but these are certainly outweighed by the good times.  I want those who have thought about it to make the initial call.”

There is an issue with there not being enough carers, because unfortunately there are a lot of children who do need a foster home, and just not enough people coming forward at the moment.

“I think part of the problem is there are a lot of stereotypes around fostering, so people don't think that they could be considered as a foster carer or are nervous about coming forward.”  Kim Perkins, Registered Manager (Wales) for The Foster Care Co-Operative

Rachel's now looking ahead to university, and wants people to see how a stable foster home has changed her life for the better.

Watch the video here:

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A company registered in England and Wales, No. 3861213

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