What is foster care?

The question of ‘what is foster care’ can be answered simplistically as: providing a safe home for children and young people who are unable to live with their own families. But being a foster carer is so much more than providing a bed and putting a roof over someone’s head – it is helping each child to build a better life.

Every child deserves a safe and loving home to grow up in, to be surrounded by people who are dedicated to helping them grow, develop and to reach their potential. As a foster carer your role includes:

• Providing support and encouragement
• Helping to build confidence and self-esteem
• Supporting the development of social skills
• Creating a sense of self-worth
• Raising aspirations
• Helping to improve educational achievement

Why are children fostered?

There are many reasons why children may come into care, but in many cases, they are unable to live with their family because they have experienced some form of neglect or abuse. Such stressful life events can impact a child’s behaviour, ability to develop skills, learn information and get along with other children and adults.

Looking after a child who has experienced trauma can be challenging, but it can also be hugely rewarding to play such a pivotal role in helping them to overcome their early experiences, transforming their lives and enabling them to reach their full potential.

The vast majority of children come into care because of incidents or situations that are beyond that young person’s control.


This chart shows the reasons why children come into care