We will work with you to decide what age group, gender or number of children you're best suited to look after.
Brothers and sisters
It's really important for brothers and sisters to stay together, so we need foster carers prepared to look after more than one child. It can be very distressing for children to be separated from each other and their adult family members, so we need to make sure siblings can comfort and support each other at such a difficult time.
Being a teenager can be a confusing, emotional and challenging time for any child, and going through family breakdown or upheaval can make life difficult for some teens. It is vital that vulnerable teenagers get the support and stability they need to help them become well-adjusted adults. Remember, you were one once!
Most of the children who need foster care require a place to stay for a short period, usually between three months and two years. This is while their situation is assessed and long-term arrangements are made, whether the children are going back to their families or moving on to adoption. Foster carers need to be able to make children feel safe and at home during this time, and to help day-to-day life carry on as well as possible.
Sometimes, children are unable to return to live with their family and will either be placed with adopters or looked after by foster carers until they reach adulthood. Providing stability, care and support throughout childhood is one of the most rewarding aspects of permanent or long-term foster care, as you are helping vulnerable children grow into happy and secure young adults.
Sometimes children need somewhere to stay at very short notice and for just a few days. This could start at the weekend or in the middle of the night, so carers offering emergency placements need to be flexible and ready for action.
Carers and parents need breaks too, so respite fostering gives those looking after children the chance to spend time focusing on their own lives and relax for a weekend or a few days.
Short breaks fostering
This is a specific area of fostering dedicated to children and their families who have a disability. Foster carers will work closely with the parents to provide recognised and agreed breaks.
Advanced or specialist fostering
This is for those children who have a range of complex needs, such as challenging behaviour, disabilities or medical conditions. Advanced and specialist foster carers will have undergone additional training to ensure that they have the skills and experience needed to give these children a safe and happy home. You can find out more about advanced foster carers here.
"No Wrong Door" innovation funded programme
Community families foster care is an innovative fostering project which seeks to change the lives of young people aged 13+ with complex needs, who would have normally been placed in a children's home. This type of foster care provides young people with individually tailored placements. Foster carers must have experience of looking after young people and be prepared to work as a relief worker in the children's home when you do not have a young person in placement.