Children of all ages (0-18 years of age) and from various cultural and social backgrounds need to be placed in foster care for many different reasons.
Children's circumstances will vary dependent on their individual needs and family background. Whatever the circumstances all of the children will be separated from their parents and will need foster carers to help them at a difficult time. The children who are placed with foster carers come from many social, ethnic and religious backgrounds. They may have experienced a variety of problems in their life.
Many will be deeply upset about being away from their families and may be "difficult" to care for when they first come in to foster care. However, this does not mean that all children in foster care are "problem children" and many, given sufficient time to settle, are likely to be as "difficult" as any other child.
Some of the children placed with foster carers, because of their history, will have more problems than most and will offer a considerable challenge to their foster carers. This does not mean that they should not be placed with foster carers as this may still be seen as being in their best interests.
In some cases children will be identified as needing a specialist foster care placement when their needs are great and where they will place great demands upon those who care for them.
Why foster care in UK?
People become foster carers because they are committed to giving children a safe and secure home. Stella, a foster carer told us "fostering has given me the opportunity to give youngsters a chance at family life. My kids had left home, I had the space and because I had thought about fostering for a while I took the plunge. I look after teenagers now who I help to move on to independance. It's hard sometimes but I love it!"More information...
Fostering as a career
Fostering can be a career. Some Fostering Agencies are prepared to pay retainers between placements to experienced foster carers and there is a growing need for foster carers who are prepared to foster children and young people on a long term fostering basis, as well as permanently.More information...
Who can be a foster carer?
Foster carers come from all walks of life, different backgrounds, experiences, lifestyles, ages and occupations. To be a foster carer you will need to be flexible, understanding and want to learn new skills. A good sense of humour helps.More information...