People in Gloucestershire are being asked to help address the increasing numbers of children entering care.

An ageing population of foster carers and increasing demand is placing pressure on the fostering industry.

In Gloucestershire, there are currently 475 children in foster care, with 540 foster carers needed across the south west to meet demand.

Five Rivers Child Care, one of the country's largest fostering organisations is calling on people across the region to consider a career in fostering as the UK celebrates Foster Care Fortnight.

A report commissioned by Five Rivers last year revealed a lack of awareness around the different types of people that are eligible to foster, with 60 percent of respondents unaware that those without their own children are eligible to foster.

Anyone can become a foster carer provided they are over 21 years old and have a spare room for each foster child.

The report also highlighted that 64 percent of the public aren’t aware that foster carers are paid.

Martin Leitch, head of fostering operations at Five Rivers Child Care said: “It’s really important that we use Foster Care Fortnight to increase awareness of the wide variety of career opportunities available across fostering and to tackle some of the stereotypes currently hindering foster carer recruitment.

“Being a foster carer in any capacity is a hugely rewarding career and the impact it can have on local communities is massive.

"We’re keen to hear from anyone in Gloucestershire who is interested in becoming a foster carer, whether they’re considering it for the first time or already have fostering experience.”

For more information on Five Rivers Child Care, visit

, call 0345 266 0272 or email