Our future lies in the hands of today’s children – giving each of us the responsibility to help them reach their full potential…especially those who require a little extra nurturing.
Fostering is a way of providing family life for someone else’s child in your own home when they are unable to live with their birth family. This can be due to many reasons; illness, relationship problems, family breakdown, or perhaps a situation where the child’s welfare is threatened. Fostering differs from adoption, in that an adoption order ends a child’s legal relationship with their natural family, whereas looked after children remain the legal responsibility of the local authority and/or their birth parents. For a whole variety of reasons there are around 45,000 children in the system.
There is a common misconception that children placed in foster care have been so because of delinquency, anti-social behaviour or other behaviour not becoming of their home environment. This is simply not the case. Many children are the unfortunate casualties of parental break-ups, a single parent suffering from illness be it emotional or physical, or simply a child who is not wanted by their biological parent/parents. Foster carers provide a safe, secure and stable environment for these children and young people and the foster care placement can last for days, months or even years. Many children return home to their families but others may receive long-term support; either through continued fostering, adoption, residential care or by being helped to live independently.
First and foremost a family looking to adopt or become a foster carer needs to be able to provide any child under their care a stable and loving environment where they can feel safe and wanted. If you believe this is you, you will find on this website a number of agencies and local departments that can give you more information on the process and discuss with you any questions you may have.