Figures obtained by the Journal show that there are currently over 400 children and young people being looked after by local foster families.
The Western Health and Social Care Trust has confirmed the figures following an urgent call for more potential foster parents to come forward locally.
Events were held this week in Derry and Strabane to try and encourage more people to come forward.
A spokesperson for the Trust said: “There are currently 430 children and young people living with foster carers in the Western Trust area as of the 1 May 2016.”
This week saw the launch of Fostering Fortnight, with the Trust urging people to come forward as the number of children who require permanent placements with families in foster care continues to grow.
A local Western Trust Foster Carer, identified as Joanne, said: “I would recommend fostering to anybody who had any inkling that it’s something they want to do. It’s very rewarding and enjoyable.
“There are challenges, but with the help and support of your social worker and the child’s social worker, you’re never left to deal with anything on your own – everyone is a phone call away.
“When you see a child develop through what you have done for them it’s so rewarding. Just pick up the phone and talk to someone from the fostering team or go along to your local information session to find out more.”
For further information, contact the Fostering Recruitment & Assessment Team on 028 8283 5264 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.