Children and young people are fostered for a variety of reasons; they may have been neglected, abused or their families may be unable to care for them for a number of reasons such as drug or alcohol abuse, poor mental health or due to bereavement.
Foster carers look after children or young people in their own homes. This provides a stable family life for a child or young person who is unable to live with their own family; this allows children and young people to thrive in a safe and caring home environment with foster carers.
Inevitably this can be a very difficult time for a foster child or young person and they’ll need lots of support and care. Fostering is challenging but rewarding and takes time, patience and commitment.
“Fostering has changed our lives for the better. There are difficult days but we have never once regretted becoming foster carers.”
Fostering may be for a short period whilst things are sorted out at home or for longer periods depending on the situation. In some cases a young person may remain in foster care for the rest of their childhood.
Some children may maintain strong bonds with their birth families which may take the form of face to face or another form of contact. In some cases, birth families continue to be involved in any important decisions that are made regarding the children’s welfare or education. Each child will have their own plan and many people will be involved in carrying it out such as social workers, birth parents, foster carers, teachers and health professionals. It is therefore important that foster carers can work as part of a team to plan for the needs of the child being met.
Local Authorities are responsible for all children and young people placed in public care; it is their responsibility to find the best way to look after the child or young person. Often that is with the Local Authorities own foster carers but regularly they need to look outside to Independent Fostering Agencies (IFA) to find a foster carer who best meets the needs of the child in the right location. As an IFA we work in partnership with the Local Authorities to provide the best standard of care for the child or young person.
We have our own social workers and support staff whose role is to provide an exceptional level of support and guidance to our foster carers, this ensures the needs of the children and young people are met to a high standard.