Children in foster care

Children in
foster care

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.

Dysfunctional families

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.

Refugee children

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.

Download our Guide to Fostering

Discover everything you need to know about fostering by downloading our brochure.

Why would a child be put in foster care?

Support for the children in our care

We aim for continuity – by which we mean we look to create stable placements with loving, caring foster parents. All of our support is focused on delivering this for children and young people, and we provide a whole range of support to this end.

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benefits of fostering

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.

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Who can foster?

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.

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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.

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Frequently asked questions

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.

Types of fostering

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 to become a foster parent

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...

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By phone

One of our team is available to talk to you over the phone to answer any of your fostering queries.

0800 3698512

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Your local team

Find contact details for your local office team. We’re always happy for you to pop-in and chat.

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