The foster care service requires "urgent action" to halt an impending crisis, according to research from the University of Luton. David Berridge, professor of child and family welfare, said that there are 20,000 foster carers looking after 32,000 children. His study, Foster Care: A Research Review, was commissioned by the Department of Health. Professor Berridge warns that the closure of residential children's homes, the low status of fostering, and a lack of research in the field, has contributed to "a crisis in the making". "There are signs that foster care is experiencing greater problems than previously," said Professor Berridge.