Fostering means providing temporary care for children who cannot live with their own families, sometimes for weeks, months or for the rest of their childhood...
Children who need to be fostered are aged 0-16 and come into care for a wide variety of reasons. Sometimes the problems at home can be sorted quickly. For others, it can take a few months or even years for parents to get back on their feet. Occasionally, the difficulties are so serious that a decision is reached that a child cannot return home. If this happens the child may sometimes remain with their foster carers (although this should not be assumed) or move to permanent foster carers or adopters.
Some children come to foster carers at very short notice. Most will need reassurance and support because they have had to leave their own family and get used to unfamiliar people and a strange home. They usually need a lot of time, understanding and good physical care. For most, keeping in regular contact with their parents, brothers and sisters is important.
In addition to the general qualities and experience needed for carers, as a foster carer you must: