There is an urgent need for 200 more foster carers in Northern Ireland.
Lynda Wilson, Director of Barnardo's NI, said: "We do have quite a significant shortage. For the number of children and young people we have we would need an average of four more foster carers a week."
She was speaking at Stormont where the charity marked 35 years of fostering with a balloon launch.
In that time hundreds of children and young people have been placed in long term foster care by the charity and many children's lives have been turned around.
Lynda Wilson started the foster care service 35 years ago and is still involved.
"I saw the need for Barnardo's to offer fostering after working with one young man who was constantly running away from children's homes - he was crying out for a long-term foster home," she said.
Further details on fostering are available from www.barnardos.org.uk/northernireland