What is fostering?
Fostering is when you take on the responsibility of looking after a child or young person that is not your own. You will be caring for the child in your home for a period of time depending on the child's situation.
The aim of fostering is to offer children a safe place to live temporarily, allowing their family to resolve difficulties so that they can return home. However, on some occasions, this does not happen and children may have to live with their carers long term; until they are 18, or prepared to live independently.
Children need to be fostered for a variety of reasons: abuse, neglect, parents’ drug or alcohol misuse, parents’ mental health issues or medical illness as well as conflicts within the family – including domestic abuse, parents struggling to cope with their child’s behaviour, illness or disability.
The responsibilities of a foster carer
As a foster carer, in addition to providing a safe and stable home for children, you will have to love and nurture them. It is also important that you build a strong positive relationship with the children in your care, based on good communication and trust.
Children come into care from a range of backgrounds and circumstances so it is important that you are open-minded and inclusive. You will be looking after children with different needs depending on their past experiences, this is why it is important that you are able to deal with a variety of personalities and characters.
Fostering may be challenging at times, but we are on hand to advise and support you throughout your journey so that you can help local children.
Sign up to attend the next Fostering Information Evening to find out more about being a foster parent from one of our current carers.