Englands Most Caring City Revealed - The Directory Group

England’s most caring city revealed

England’s most caring city revealed: Portsmouth named in top ten cities most likely to foster.

Portsmouth has been named one of England’s most caring cities in a survey which revealed Hull, Oxford and Derby are the cities most likely to foster while Newcastle, Blackpool and Norwich are the least likely.  

Fifty five percent of Portsmouth residents said that they had or are considering fostering a child despite the fact that three quarters of the city’s population are unaware that fostering is a paid profession. Hull nabbed the top spot with 78 percent expressing an interest in fostering while Oxford came in second place with 76 percent. Southampton and Bristol placed in joint fourth position ahead of Manchester which clinched the fifth spot. Leicester, Portsmouth, Brighton and Birmingham make up the top ten.

The research is part of a report compiled by national fostering agency, Five Rivers Child Care, to highlight the misconceptions hindering foster carer recruitment across the UK.

Despite over half of Portsmouth residents saying they had thought or are thinking about fostering, over a third of those surveyed admitted to having serious misconceptions about who is allowed to foster. Almost sixty percent of the city’s population don’t think that those without their own children are eligible to foster and a further 46 percent aren’t aware that single people can welcome foster children in to their homes.

The ten cities with residents most likely to foster are:

Hull (78%)

Oxford (76%)

Derby (64%)

Southampton (60%)

Bristol (60%)

Manchester (58%)

Portsmouth (55%)

Brighton (55%)

Leicester (55%)

Birmingham (55%)


The five cities with residents least likely to foster are:

Newcastle (22%)

Blackpool (25%)

Norwich (33%)

Sheffield (38%)

Plymouth (39%)


In spite of showing a lack of interest in fostering, Blackpool residents came out on top in terms of an awareness of the different types of people that can foster with only a fifth not aware that key groups could foster.

The research highlights ongoing perceptions stifling foster carer recruitment across the UK. Commenting on the findings, Martin Leitch, head of fostering operations for Five Rivers Child Care, said:

“It’s really interesting to look at the country’s view on fostering as a whole and compare views on a city by city basis and it’s encouraging to see that so many people are receptive to the idea of fostering. One of the key challenges we, and the fostering industry as a whole, are facing is the ongoing misunderstanding of who can be a foster carer and the career benefits it offers.

“Providing you have a spare room and you’re over the age of 21, then you could be eligible to foster. Its an outdated belief that foster carers need to own their own property, have children of their own and foster as a couple. But this is simply not the case. Everyone has the potential to be an amazing foster carer and every vulnerable younger person deserves the chance to find the perfect foster carer.”

People from all walks of life can become foster carers as long as they are over 21 years of age, including single people, co-habiting couples, same sex couples and people living in rented accommodation are all eligible, the only requirement is a spare room for each foster child.

A career in foster care offers many benefits including competitive rates of pay and flexible working. For more information about fostering contact Five Rivers Child Care on 0345 266 0272 or visit www.five-rivers.org

The Directory Group covers the following areas within Hampshire and West Sussex: Petersfield, Clanfield, Hayling Island, Cowplain, Waterlooville, Denmead, Purbrook, Widley, Farlington, Cosham, Drayton, Havant, Rowlands Castle, Emsworth, Southbourne, Westbourne, Bosham, and Meon Valley