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What is fostering?

Fostering is about caring!

Sometimes it is difficult but sometimes it's wonderful. It's about laughing, sometimes at yourself! It's about showing a young person that you care no matter what. Fostering. One word. Many definitions.

Who needs to be in foster care?

Children and young people need to be looked after by foster carers for many reasons. Here are a few examples:

  • Their parents may be going through a difficult time.
  • The child/young person may have been abused or neglected
  • The child/young person may have emotional and/or behavioural difficulties
  • The child/young person may have disabilities which their parents or family cannot manage
  • Many children and young people need to be in foster care because of issues not related to them, but because of their circumstances.

How long will they be in foster care?

That’s the “how long is a piece of string” question! Foster placements can last from days to years, i.e. short term or long term, respite or short break to permanence. Some children and young people may return to their families, others may need long term support which might be through adoption or fostering and being prepared for independence.

You might be wondering...

If I foster, can I still smoke in my house?
No, for the health and safety of the child or young person it is illegal for anyone to smoke in the house of a foster carer
What happens in the assessment process?
An assessing Social Worker will work with you to build a report of your parenting skills, background, family and networks. This will provide evidence of how you are likely to manage as s Foster Carer.
How do I become a foster carer?
Have a look at our page Journey to Fostering Page.
How long does it take to become a foster carer?
The length of the application process varies from person to person. On average, it takes around 4 – 6 months to complete your assessment and be approved as a foster carer.