There has been increased press coverage over the past few weeks of the potential need for people able to care for unaccompanied asylum seeking children and young people.

Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network, said: "When children from throughout the world arrive alone in the UK, it is approved foster carers who offer them homes and security, with the support of their local authority and fostering service."

Contact us if you can offer support as a foster carer.

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.

How do I find out more?

Here are three easy ways to find out more about fostering:

1. Order an information pack and DVD

Simply call 0117 353 4200, email or submit an enquiry form.

Our team are also very happy to answer any questions you may have at this point.

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

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.

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) for what Bristol children in care think makes a good foster carer.

Find 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) or an A4 BME fostering recruitment poster (pdf, 1.5 MB) (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.