A CRIPPLING shortage of foster carers is resulting in some children having to be placed in temporary homes outside Kirklees.
Social services officials are launching a drive to boost the numbers of good-hearted folk who are willing to look after youngsters.
Kirklees Council is throwing its weight behind a campaign after a survey found 8,200 new carers are needed nationally.
It has resulted in children being moved from home to home and split up from brothers and sisters.
The Fostering Network said the "critical" shortage was blighting the lives of thousands of children.
Kirklees Council is aiming to recruit 30 new carers by next April.
A council spokeswoman said: "Currently we have about 40 children placed with foster carers belonging to other authorities or private fostering agencies.
"We would wish these children to be placed with Kirklees foster carers."
The children are among 190 Kirklees youngsters in foster care.
A particular shortage is in foster carers for children under the age of five.
The council spokeswoman said: "We have set a target of recruiting 30 new foster carers by April 2005.
"This is an ambitious target but staff in family placement are determined to meet it.
"It is hoped that the new carers will be able to offer up to 42 new placements."
More than 41,000 youngsters are living with foster families on any one day in England.
An estimated one in four lives in three or more homes in a year.
Robert Tapsfield, Fostering Network's executive director, said: "Too many children's lives are being badly disrupted with frequent moves and foster homes a long way from family, friends and school.
"The system is failing to provide these vulnerable children with the stability and security they need."