"The number of foster carers needed in the UK is a warning sign of a severely strained care system bursting at its seams.
"In the absence of suitable foster carers, many young people are left in emergency placements which can have a detrimental effect creating a false sense of security at a time when stability is needed the most.
"For many vulnerable children, foster care is the best option, as it could mean an end to abuse and neglect and the start of a more stable life. The nation needs an army of foster carers prepared to provide homes for thousands of children in care.
"So many people possess the skills and qualities to be great foster carers. With a New Year ahead, Action for Children is encouraging adults to consider fostering as a career change, for many of our foster carers this has been a positive life-changing decision."