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Fostering

What’s involved and what you need to do

Giving vulnerable children a safe environment.

If you’ve decided you want to help vulnerable children – giving them a loving, stable home while local authorities find a long term place for them, it’s worth finding out more about fostering. When you plan to adopt, it can also help if you look after vulnerable children as early as possible, before adopting them permanently. Here we explain the various options and what’s involved.

At a glance

  • Foster care gives offers stable care until children can return to their own family or move on
  • There are over 44,000 children and young people in foster care throughout the UK
  • There’s a major shortage of foster carers
fostering

Considering fostering?

Foster care is quite different from adoption, giving children loving, stable care until they can return to their own family or move on elsewhere. There are over 44,000 children and young people in foster care throughout the UK, and there’s a major shortage of foster carers. So if you want to give vulnerable children a loving, stable environment while authorities find a healthy long term solution for them, fostering could be for you.

Fostering for adoption

You might also want to consider fostering, so you can start looking after children you hope to adopt. Fostering for adoption is a quite a recent initiative, designed to get children into a permanent, loving home as early as possible, with a view to adoption further down the line. It’s aimed at people who have been approved both as foster carers and for adoption - this means children can be placed with you on a temporary basis, so if the court later agrees that the child should be adopted, the placement moves from fostering to adoption. For a child who craves stability, this options means they can be adopted with minimum disruption.

Adopting

When you adopt, you’re providing a new, permanent family for children who can no longer live with their own family. Adoption is the best option for a minority of children, with around 4,000 children needing adoptive families each year.

Find out more

All these options can be wonderful for children who need love and care, and for parents who really want to build a family. It’s a major decision to take and there’s a lot of information and advice to help you decide whether fostering and adoption are for you.

At a glance

  • Foster care gives offers stable care until children can return to their own family or move on
  • There are over 44,000 children and young people in foster care throughout the UK
  • There’s a major shortage of foster carers
All these options can be wonderful for children who need love and care

Fostering