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Fostering is looking after a child or young person who can’t live with their birth family.

This could mean looking after them for a matter of days, weeks or months, or on a longer-term basis if a foster carer can offer a permanent home. 

Children are unable to live with their birth families for various reasons. For example, their parents may be struggling with a short-term difficulty such as substance use or hospital admission, or there may be issues of neglect or abuse, which mean the child is unsafe in their care and requires protection. 

What happens next

Children can come to foster carers at very short notice or their placements can be planned in advance. Throughout each child’s time with their foster carer there is ongoing review and planning to decide if they can return to their birth family or need to stay with their foster carer for a longer period of time.

While decisions are being made the foster carers provide a child with the support and kindness they need to cope with potentially upsetting outcomes. For this reason, foster carers need to show patience, understanding and empathy to the child in their care.

The rewards

Providing a safe and loving home to a child or young person, often during a time of crisis or grief, is one of the most rewarding things you can do with your time.

Watching a child thrive, knowing they are safe in your care and free to be themselves, is just one of the many ways in which fostering enriches not only the lives of children and young people but of foster carers themselves.

No matter if a child is in your care for a few days or a number of years, the support you provide will stay with them long into adulthood. Many fostered children and young people also develop a lifelong bond with their former carer/s and continue to visit and stay in touch with them.

Find out more

Get in touch if you want to find out more about fostering:

Get in touch to start your fostering journey today

Contact Information

Fostering and Adoption
Telephone: 01563 554200 (Option 2)