Why would a child be taken in to foster care?
Recent statistics show that there are over 78,000 children living in foster homes in England and almost another 5,000 children in care in Scotland.
Every child's journey into foster care is unique, but there are some common reasons, any of which could have a long-term impact on the child’s development, including behaviour, speech or an inability to trust adults. As foster parents have a big role to play in helping children deal with and overcome these issues, it’s important to understand the reasons why children might enter the care system.
Some reasons why children are in foster care...
Abuse and neglect
Around 60% of children are in foster care because of a history of neglect or abuse. This can take a wide range of forms, including sexual, physical or emotional abuse or wilful or accidental neglect, and often has a profound effect on the child's development.
Acute family stress
The sudden illness or even death of a birth parent can result in a child coming into care. At other times, major upheavals, such as eviction, police trouble or extreme financial hardship, could put children at risk. These are all forms of acute family stress.
Family dynamics, such as sibling rivalry, parental mental health or domestic violence can affect children in negative ways. In such cases, children will be temporarily placed in foster care until it's safe and stable enough for them to return home.
A growing number of asylum-seeking children are entering the UK, all of whom will need to be placed in foster care. Many of these children have experienced traumatic journeys and face an uncertain future, in an unfamiliar culture.
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Reasons to foster
Becoming a foster parent is one of the most rewarding things you'll do. Supported by an entire professional team, you'll be making a huge difference to the lives of vulnerable children in your area.Find out more
Who can foster?
We welcome people from all different walks of life to our fostering family. The only initial requirements are that you're over 21, have the legal right to work in the UK and have a spare bedroom.Find out more
Why choose us?
Everything we do is tailored towards this idea of continuity, and it’s something that our foster parents experience too – with stable teams, consistent support and regular training.Find out more
What are the different types of fostering?
We offer many different types of fostering so we can continue to meet the ever-changing needs of children and young people in foster care. These include short-term or interim care (up to 2 years), long-term or permanent care (more than 2 years and until the child turns eighteen), emergency, respite and more.
We also provide foster care placements that are considered specialist, including parent and child fostering and caring for children with disabilities or those seeking asylum. Learn about the different types of fostering below.
How do you become a foster parent?
The first step is to have a chat with one of our friendly advisors - either complete our online form or give us a call on 0800 369 8512. We'll speak to you about the role, take a few details and answer any of your questions.
When you're ready to progress, there's a standard application and assessment process that you'll need to go through to become an approved foster parent, including home visits, background checks and references, training and attending a fostering panel. You can find out more about each step below.
How long does it take to become a foster parent?
It takes around 4-6 months to become a foster parent. This can often be shorter if you're already fostering and looking to transfer to a different fostering agency.
Speak to our team
Ready to take your first step into fostering? We're here to support you on your journey...
Can't find what you're looking for?
One of our team is available to talk to you over the phone to answer any of your fostering queries.
You can get in touch by filling out our online enquiry form with any queries that you may have.
Your local team
Find contact details for your local office team. We’re always happy for you to pop-in and chat.