THE leader of Solihull Council is encouraging more families to consider becoming foster parents - following the steep rise in the number of local youngsters who need a home.
Several factors have contributed to a dramatic rise in the number of cases being referred to social workers.
But Coun Ken Meeson said that the authority was working hard to cope with the increased demand.
“The recession does not help the situation because it makes it more difficult for some families,” he said. “The Baby Peter case down in Haringey has also raised awareness and the number of referrals has doubled in the past year.
“This means there are twice as many children with whom we are having contact, although obviously not all need to go into care - we do try to offer support to families.”
Extra social workers are being taken on to deal with the referrals and Coun Meeson said that Solihull was looking at ways to get more funding from central Government.
Local people can help by becoming foster parents and are encouraged to contact Solihull Council if they are interested.
The strain on social workers was one of several issues raised at Wednesday night’s economic summit - a regular meeting in which business and community leaders discuss issues arising from the recession.
To find out more about becoming a foster carer call the team on 0800 073 0769 or go to www.solihull.gov.uk/fostering.