SOCIAL Services is desperately in need of 30 new foster carers in Wrexham to tackle a serious shortfall.
According to Wrexham County Borough Council Social Services figures published this week there are currently more than 100 children living with foster families in Wrexham.
But there are many more who have had to be sent away to other areas via fostering agencies because there are not enough foster families.
Across the UK it's Foster Care fortnight and Wrexham County Borough Council's fostering service has stepped up efforts to encourage more people to consider becoming foster carers.
'There is a real need for around 30 foster carers,' said Wrexham Fostering Service officer Jill McBrearty-Gilliam.
'Each foster carer can take care of one child or a number, depending on the space they have and their own capabilities.
'Needing 30 carers does not mean there are 30 children waiting to be housed but it does mean we will have a diverse pool to dip into in order to perfectly match a child to a suitable foster family.
'It's important personalities match and both sides get along well because these children are all individuals and all behave differently.
'We are always in need of more foster carers but at the moment that need is dire. As some fosterers retire they are not being replaced and when you consider there are 700 children in Wales waiting for foster care, you see this is not just a local problem.
'Going into care is difficult enough for children. We don't want to have to send them away from their friends and their school to out-of-county placements, but we simply haven't got enough carers.'
Foster carers must be at least 18 and have plenty of life experience. There is no upper age limit.
Wrexham Fostering Service manager John Roberts said: 'Foster carers have a vital role to play in helping children thrive and giving them the best possible start in life. These new figures show there is a real need for more people to become carers in the Wrexham area.
'Anyone can apply to become a foster carer and there are many different ways to get involved. It's even possible to foster on a part-time basis.
'We are urging people to think about fostering and to come forward to find out more.'
To find out more about becoming a foster carer and about local Foster Care fortnight events call 0800 7830618 or log on to www.wrexham.gov.uk/fostering