What is fostering?

General Information

fostering_youngchildFostering is when a person takes on the responsibility of caring for a child that is not their own. They will care for the child in their own home for a period of time depending on the child's situation.

During this time, the foster carer is responsible for all the child's basic needs such as being safe, sheltered and fed and the child's emotional needs and wellbeing.

Why do we need foster carers?

We have over 300 children and young people in care. In most cases these children in care will eventually return home to their families and will only need foster care for a short period of time. However in some cases the child is unable to return home and will need to be placed with a long term foster carer until they are 18. Alternatively they may be adopted.

What kind of children are fostered?

We need homes for children of all ages and backgrounds. Some children are in sibling groups and some are on their own. Some children have special, additional or complex needs.

Children placed with foster carers may have experienced a variety of problems in their life which could mean some find adjusting more difficult than others. However this does not mean it will automatically be difficult to care for a child who becomes a child in care.

Some children will be deeply upset about being away from their families, whilst others may find it easy to adapt to their new situation and settle in very quickly. No two children will be the same and foster carers will deal with a variety of different personalities, experiences and characters throughout their fostering career.

Here are some great reasons why you should foster with Brent.

Types of foster care

Short term fostering

This will be from overnight care up to a period of two years depending on the needs of the child. The foster carer should expect the relationship with the child to be temporary and be prepared to care for plenty of children. Short term foster carers may also provide emergency overnight care.

Long term fostering

This is a permanent arrangement and will last until the child is 18 years of age or ready to live independently. The child will be matched to the foster carer. The foster carer should expect to form a strong relationship with that child. Historically many children placed with long term foster carers have developed relationships with their carers that have lasted well into their adulthood.

Family links: short term breaks for families of children with disabilities

This is where the carer provides care for a child who has a disability, allowing the parents to take a break (respite). It could be for a few hours or a whole day. There will be a strong relationship between the carer, the child and the child's parents.