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How can YOU make a positive change in the New Year?

New Year’s Resolutions

At the end of 2017, St Christopher’s commissioned research to find out what positive changes people wanted to make in the following year. What were people hoping to achieve? Did people want to make changes to their own lives, or make changes that would benefit the lives of others?

We ran a YouGov survey to find out. More than 2,000 people were asked:

“Thinking about the next year, in which, if any, of the following ways are you planning on doing something to make a positive change in your life?”



be more healthy


travel more


spend more time family and friends


take up a new hobby


find a new job


volunteer for a good cause


move house


make a difference in the community


other / don't know / I am not planning to make any particular positive changes

We discovered that only 9% of those surveyed wanted to make a difference in their community. Most resolutions focused on things people could change for themselves, rather than how they could change things for others.

It made us think about the children and young people we work with, and how many of them would benefit from help and support by living with foster carers.

Currently only 0.1% of the population are foster carers (data from The Fostering Network and Office for National Statistics), despite the fact that many more people are eligible, so finding a foster family is in fact a bit like finding a rare diamond. They provide safe, caring homes for children who need it the most.

This is at a time when the number of children needing foster care is increasing year on year. There are more than 72,000 children in care in England and around 75% of these young people tend to live with foster families (The Fostering Network).

Get in touch about fostering

Making a difference in the community

We also asked people whether they agreed with the statement “I wouldn’t know how to make a difference in my community”. We found that 40% of people strongly agreed or tended to agree with this statement, suggesting that people were unaware of issues in their own area. We want to change that by raising awareness of fostering, which happens in homes across the UK.

The requirements to foster are having at least one spare bedroom, some experience with children and young people, and the time to support them to reach their full potential. It takes around six months to be approved as a foster carer and the process includes introductory training, home visits and an assessment to make sure you have what it takes to foster.

'We would encourage everyone to make a New Year's resolution to look into fostering and see how they could change a child’s life, as well as make a difference in their local communities. Let’s all make this year one where we give back.'

Annette Richards, Head of Fostering

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,282 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between  15 – 18 December 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).