The Fostering Network is the leading fostering charity in the UK, and every year we support the tens of thousands of foster carers who care for children and young people across the UK while they can’t live with their own families.
Every year, around 30,000 children and young people come into foster care meaning that we need thousands of new foster carers to ensure that every child has a foster carer who can meet their needs and help them flourish. Could you be one of them?
Fostering is one of the most varied, challenging and rewarding jobs you can do. Fostering services are always recruiting more foster carers, particularly to look after teenagers, disabled children, unaccompanied asylum seekers and groups of brothers and sisters.
Like other jobs working with children, fostering isn’t easy but is very rewarding and makes a huge difference to children’s lives.
Foster carers are child care experts working with a team of other professionals providing children with the highest standard of care. Alongside this professionalism, they offer these children love, warmth and a positive experience of family life.
There is nothing quite like fostering if you want to work with children. Working from home, it’s possible to combine fostering with caring for your own children, or to combine fostering and other work, depending on the age and needs of the children in your care. There are many different types of fostering, such as emergency, short and long term, short break, support care, and many more, and each foster carer works with their fostering service to choose what is right for them and their family.
Over 65,000 children live with almost 55,000 foster families across the UK each day. This is nearly 80 per cent of the 83,000 children in care away from home on any one day in the UK.
In addition to practical support, all foster carers receive an allowance to cover the cost of looking after a fostered child. Some also receive a fee for the work that they do. Throughout their fostering career, foster carers can take advantage of continued professional development. In addition, a range of roles is available within many fostering services, such as helping with recruitment of new foster carers or running support groups.
A wider pool of foster carers is needed right across the UK, so children can live with a family in their local area wherever possible. It’s important that children live with families that are a good “match” for them, in terms of location, culture, lifestyle, language, and interests. More foster carers are currently needed to offer homes to teenagers, disabled children and sibling groups.
Foster carers have a unique chance to make a real difference to a child’s life, supporting them and working to help them develop and achieve their potential.
“I became a foster carer because I believe that you should always give something back to your community. The biggest rewards come when the children I have looked after achieve what they should.” Marcia, foster carer for more than 10 years.
Foster Care Fortnight™, The Fostering Network’s annual awareness campaign, is the ideal time to find your local fostering service, get in touch, and start a journey that will not only change your own life, but the lives of children who need your skills, love, and support, for years to come.