What is fostering

What is fostering

What fostering involves, how it’s different from adopting, and what different types of fostering we offer.

Fostering is looking after someone else’s child to provide them with a safe, nurturing home when their own parents are unable to care for them.

As a foster carer, you’ll look after the child day to day, and meet their physical, emotional, educational and social needs.

Why fostering is important

Offering a child warmth and stability when they need it can make a huge difference to their life.

Being looked after by a foster carer in their own city means a child can carry on going to the school they know and stay in touch with their friends.

Having the structure and security of a foster family helps children and young people develop skills, get new experiences, and grow into happy adults.

Being a foster carer can be a challenging but also rewarding career.  

How long you could be fostering a child for

Fostering can range from as short-term as looking after a child or young person over the weekend to as long-term as looking after them until they reach 18.

We understand that different people can commit different amounts of time and energy to fostering.

We offer different types of fostering, so you can choose the one that best suits your work and life circumstances.

Find about different types of fostering.

How fostering is different from adoption

Fostering a child isn’t the same as adopting them.

When you foster, the child or young person you’re looking after remains the legal responsibility of their birth parents and the council.

This means that you can’t make important decisions for the child, for example around their education or healthcare. You’d need to ask their birth parents or the council to make those decisions.

As a foster carer, you get an allowance to help you with the costs of looking after a child or young person.

With adoption, the child permanently becomes the legal responsibility of the adoptive parents.

Rewards of fostering video