What is Fostering and Who Needs Foster Care?
Foster carers are people who make a powerful decision to provide care and support to children who need it most.
Fostering is a way for families to offer children and young people a home while their own family is unable to look after them, for a whole variety of reasons.
These reasons could include:
- Parental illness (physical or mental)
- Physical harm or violence within a home
- Substance or alcohol misuse within the home
- Parental learning difficulty
- Parental involvement with criminal activity
Children who need looking after away from home have often experienced a range of upsetting life experiences, meaning they can need a significant amount of ongoing support from the families taking care of them.
Children and young people can live with foster families from as soon as they are born, right up to 18 years old, and in some cases, up to 25 years old if they choose to attend university or any other type of full time education.
Around 60% of all children who are looked after away from home live with foster families outside of their birth family network.
Fostering is not an easy option for anyone but it does offer the opportunity to make a huge difference to the lives of the children who need it.
If you decide to apply to become a foster carer, you must be able to:
- Offer the time, commitment, space and skills to care for children separated from their families
- Provide educational or employment support for children and young people
- Provide support for a child or young person’s physical, emotional and social health and well being
- Attend regular planning meetings
- Manage sensitive information
- Manage a range of emotional and behavioural presentations displayed by the child and the impact this might have on other family members
- Promote contact with children’s birth family and any other significant individuals in their lives
- Work with lots of different professionals as part of a team to promote the best outcomes for the children in your care
- Develop new skills and be open to learning new ideas and ways of parentingBecoming a Foster Carer is a hugely rewarding role and when foster carers are well prepared, trained and supported the outcomes they are able to achieve for the children in their care can be remarkable.This is why we have developed our Therapeutic Fostering Service.