What is fostering?

Fostering is a way of providing family life for children who cannot live with their own family. There are many reasons for this including:

  • Parents are unable to care for the children for various reasons, such as illness, family problems or substance abuse.
  • Breakdown of family relationships.
  • Children are at risk of being harmed or have already been physically, emotionally or sexually abused or neglected. Different kinds of foster care There are different forms of foster care designed to meet the different needs of children and their families.
  • Emergency work: providing immediate shelter in a crisis at any time of day or night.
  • Short term work: providing a safe base for a child while permanent plans can be made. This may take up to two years.
  • Task centred work: time limited foster care to allow tasks to be completed.
  • Long term work: providing care for a child who cannot return home on a permanent axis.
  • Respite work: providing very short breaks to refresh other foster carers.