What Is Fostering

Fostering is a way of providing the opportunity for children and young people who cannot live with their parents to thrive in secure and supportive environment. The children and young people come into foster care from a variety of backgrounds and all have had differing experiences. The result is that the will have differing needs and present a variety of challenges making it difficult to define a typical child.

Many children and young people have faced an uncertain start to their lives and some have experienced neglect, abuse or rejections and so needs stability, security and a positive home to enable them to develop and to start to fulfil their potential resulting in better outcomes as they grow older.

Children come into foster care for a variety of reasons such as parents being unwell (physically or mentally) or not being able to parent their children well enough. The family unit may have broken down or the parents are having difficulty meeting particular needs that the child or young person may present. The parent may have abused or physically hurt a child.


Types of fostering:

Short term

This a temporary placement lasting from a day up to a over two years whilst plans for children and young people future are agreed

Long term

Sometimes there is a requirement for a longer period of placement usually meaning that the child or young person (usually teenagers) will live with you as part of your family until moving on to live independently


Not all children want to be adopted especially older children or those with siblings who want to remain together or want to have contact with birth families. These children and young people will live as part of your family until they reach adulthood and are ready to live independently or go on to further education

Short breaks/respite

Provide support to children within their own family or within a foster family and this can be anything from an overnight to up to a fortnight


A placement with little or no warning which is normally the same day and the duration of the placement is unknown