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What is foster care?
Fostering allows children and young people, who are unable to live with their parents, the chance to thrive in a secure and supportive home. Fostering is challenging and takes time, commitment and patience.
The children and young people placed with foster carers are from a diverse range of backgrounds and will display different behaviour depending upon their various experiences.
Many children and young people have been faced with much uncertainty throughout their lives so far and others have been neglected or abused.
All children and young people are different, just like adults, making it difficult to define a “typical child”. However, what you can expect is, as with any child or young person, the need for security, stability and the chance to develop and thrive.
Types of fostering
You can become a foster carer and look after children in one or more of the following ways:
This is with little warning with the duration of the placement(s) undecided.
Short term foster carers provide temporary placements for children and young people until plans for their future are confirmed. This can be anything for a couple of days, to a couple of years.
Short break care is designed to support children within their own families or the foster families with whom they are living. This can be anything from an overnight stay to a couple of weeks.
Some children require longer term placements. In these circumstances, the foster carer cares for a child/young person as a member of their family until they move to independence.
When a child requires a permanent placement but adoption is not an option, a foster carer will make a commitment to care for the child throughout their childhood to their adult life. This means looking after the child until they are ready to leave home, go to further education or to live independently with others. Contact and support would continue for as long as necessary.
Find out how becoming involved in fostering can change a childs life for ever.