What is Foster Care?
Foster care offers children a comforting haven where they can feel safe and cherished when they can’t stay with their biological parents.
Whether it’s a short-term emergency situation, a few months, or even several years until they reach adulthood, foster care provides a nurturing home to help them thrive.
Do you want to be a foster carer but you're not sure where to start?
By becoming a foster carer, you’ll provide a safe and nurturing home for children who can’t live with their parents or guardians due to neglect or abuse, which accounts for 65% of cases.
Your role will be to work with a team of professionals to create a stable and loving environment for the child to recover and thrive.
Rest assured, as a foster carer, you won’t be alone in this journey. The local authority has a legal responsibility for the child’s protection and well-being, and our team is here to offer you all the support and information you need to get started.
2023 Facts and Figures About Fostering in the UK
There are nearly 83,000 children in foster care
Fewer than one in a hundred children are in foster care (less than 1%)
The number of children coming into foster care increased by 11% last year
There is an estimated shortage of over 9,000 foster carers across the UK
What is it like to be a foster carer with Family Care?
Fostering is a life-changing experience. It’s both rewarding and challenging, but the impact you’ll make on a child’s life is immeasurable.
Being a foster carer with Family Care is an incredibly rewarding experience. You’ll have the chance to provide a safe and loving home for some of the most vulnerable young people in your community.
Our team will be there to support you every step of the way, from offering training and guidance to connecting you with other foster carers in our community. You’ll attend meetings to help plan for the child’s future, and as their advocate, you’ll ensure their best interests are always prioritized.
It’s important to be physically and emotionally healthy for this role, but the positive impact you’ll make on a child’s life is priceless. By becoming a foster carer with Family Care, you’ll have the chance to make a meaningful difference and give a child the opportunity to thrive.
As well as parenting, attending meetings and providing transport to/from school or other activities, foster carers record the days activity in a daily diary.
These recordings are vital, especially when the local authority requires evidence of a child’s progress or other relevant information to help determine the child’s care plan.
"Fostering like any job has its highs and lows. I would be wrong to say it’s all rosy, but the good days far out weigh the not so good. I love the fact that I am living my dream and making a difference to the life of a young person. I would highly recommend it."
Foster care involves more than just providing a safe and happy home for a child. It also includes being a positive role model, helping children learn to trust adults and form healthy relationships, ensuring they attend school and supporting their education, teaching them everyday life skills to prepare them for adulthood, and creating enjoyable experiences by taking them on trips and holidays.
Additionally, foster parents collaborate with other professionals to ensure children receive the necessary support, participate in ongoing training to enhance their skills, document children’s progress and achievements, and promote positive contact with their birth family when appropriate.
It’s important to note that the fostering allowance is not considered income, and therefore, it shouldn’t affect any benefits you receive from the government. This means that you can still receive benefits such as child tax credits, housing benefits, or income support, in addition to the fostering allowance.
Our foster parents often share that they are called to this work by a deep sense of purpose, love having children in their lives, and are passionate about making a positive impact on vulnerable youth.
Witnessing the incredible transformation that takes place in their homes is what makes fostering such a fulfilling and meaningful experience. The joy of seeing a child blossom and thrive under their care is an unparalleled reward that fosters continue to cherish long after the child has moved on.
Our blog provides more information on the benefits of fostering not just for the children in care, but for your own family as well
To become a foster parent, you need to be at least 21 years old and legally allowed to work in the UK.
You’ll also need a spare room in your home that is consistently available, but you don’t necessarily have to be a homeowner. Above all, you must have a genuine desire to make a positive difference in the life of a child in need.
That’s all there is to it! If you meet these basic requirements, you can apply to become a foster parent and embark on an incredible journey of making a real difference in a child’s life.
While having prior experience with children, whether professionally or personally, can be helpful, it is by no means a requirement for becoming a foster parent.
Our comprehensive foster carer training program is designed to equip you with all the necessary skills and knowledge needed to care for children in foster care. In addition, you will have a team of dedicated professionals to support you every step of the way.
This includes a supervising social worker, a family support worker, and a regional manager who will provide expert guidance and continuous support to ensure you and the children in your care have everything you need to thrive.