Fostering

Could you be there for a child?

There are over 700 children in care in Bristol. Many of these children need to stay with foster families while they are unable to live at home.

A national shortage of foster carers means we are struggling to find enough carers living in and around Bristol who reflect all of our children's backgrounds. So we urgently need more people from all walks of life to come forward.

We understand that fostering isn't something you can decide on straight away, after all, it's a big commitment.

The first step is to simply find out more, and to talk to experienced foster carers about their experiences.

Three easy ways to find out more about fostering

1. Order an information pack and DVD

Call 0117 353 4200, email fostering.adoption@bristol.gov.uk or use our enquiry form.

We're very happy to answer any questions you may have.

2. Come to an information evening

Sit back and enjoy our information evening and question and answers session, hosted by experienced social workers and foster carers.

For details of our next session and to book your place, call 0117 353 4200 or email fostering.adoption@bristol.gov.uk

3. Drop by our stall at a local event near you

We're often out and about at events in the city. We'll update this page with information on where our next stall will be.

Discover more about Early Permanence

We're inviting anyone interested in learning more about becoming an early permanence carer ( sometimes known as concurrent or foster to adopt carer) for children 0-2.

Early permanence carers offer young children and babies the stability they need whilst the courts decide whether they return to family or stay with their early permanence carers who then adopt them. It’s a chance to avoid the damage that could be done if a child experiences multiple moves, and the uncertainty that children can experience.

Come along top our informal information session to find out more about this.

When: Tuesday 22 March  6pm until 8pm

Where: Princess Wharf, Wapping Road, Bristol BS1 4RN

Book tickets

Films of Bristol foster carers and Children in Care

Find out in this short video what Bristol children in care think makes a good foster carer.

See the video transcript (pdf, 22 KB) (opens new window) (pdf, 22k) (opens new window) for what Bristol children in care think makes a good foster carer.

ind out how fostering will change a life forever in this video.

What is the difference between fostering and adoption?

Foster carers share the responsibility for the child with a local authority and the child's parents. Fostering is usually a temporary arrangement, though sometimes foster care may be the plan until the child grows up.

Adoption is a way of providing a new family for children who cannot be brought up by their own parents. It's a legal procedure in which all the parental responsibility is transferred to the adopters.

Once an adoption order has been granted it can't be reversed except in extremely rare circumstances. An adopted child loses all legal ties with their first mother and father (the "birth parents") and becomes a full member of the new family, usually taking the family's name.

Can you help us promote fostering in Bristol?

You may not be ready to foster yet or are just interested in finding out more information at this stage, but can you help us to recruit more foster carers for the children in care in our city?

1. Like us on Facebook and help spread the word! Visit  Bristol City Council Fostering Facebook, the more likes the more chances of finding the next foster carer.

2. You could download an A4 fostering recruitment poster (pdf, 224 KB) (opens new window) (pdf, 225k) (opens new window) or an A4 BME fostering recruitment poster (pdf, 1.5 MB) (opens new window) (pdf, 1.5MB) (opens new window) and display it in your workplace or at your local church, playgroup, scouts group etc. If you would like some copies posted contact the Family Placement Recruitment Team on 0117 353 4200 with your request.

3. You could also send the link to this page to anyone you know who may be interested in fostering.

We really appreciate your contribution. Thank you.