What is foster care?

Foster care is when a child lives with a different family who aims to provide them with the care and support they need by offering a safe, secure and nurturing home.

Fostering can be short-term, ranging from a few days  to a few months, or it can be longer, from months to several years, or become a permanent arrangement. While the initial goal is often for children to return home, some children will need care until they turn 18 years or beyond.

Why do children need fostering?

Children and young people need fostering for all kinds of reasons. Often, it’s because of abuse or neglect. Sometimes, it’s for multiple reasons such as family domestic violence, addictions, and mental ill-health, all of which impact on a family’s capacity to care for their child safely.

If you choose to become a foster carer, you will need to help the child you care for overcome difficulties from their past. We believe in a team approach to fostering, so you will never feel alone. We work with all our foster carers and local departments to provide care that makes a real difference. Working with foster carers from diverse backgrounds also helps us meet the individual needs of these children.

How will fostering affect my family?

If you have children, they will play an important role in helping a foster child feel part of your family. It is normal for them to feel a range of emotions about gaining a foster sibling.

We know fostering is a big decision that comes with big changes to your family, which is why we offer your whole family support at every step of your journey.