Children needing foster care are of all ages and come from all different types of backgrounds and heritages. We therefore very keen to hear from people who reflect this diversity.What all children needing fostering have in common is that, they cannot live with their own families.

Reasons why children need foster care placements

Children need foster carers for many different reasons. Sometimes things go wrong in the child’s family – someone is taken ill or goes into hospital – and there is no one else to look after the child. Sometimes a child has been hurt or neglected by someone in their own family. Some parents don’t know how to look after their children – perhaps because nobody looked after them properly when they were growing up. Children need somewhere safe to stay while their families are being helped to sort out their problems. Some children need a placement for a few nights due to an emergency, some will need a home for a few weeks or months while a family gets back on its feet. Sometimes a child may never be able to go back to live with their birth family or family members and needs to stay with foster carers through to adulthood. Some of these children have been waiting a long time for the right carers to come forward. Could it be you?

Siblings

Large groups of brothers and sisters need fostering. It is really important to keep brothers and sisters together. Families who have a lot of space in their hearts and homes are always needed.

Children with physical or learning disabilities

You might decide to foster children with disabilities. ‘Disabled’ can mean all sorts of different things. The child might find it difficult to walk or to do things like wash, dress or eat without someone helping them. They might be totally deaf or not hear as well as other children, or they might be blind or have very poor eyesight. They might have a ‘learning’ disability. This means that they don’t learn as fast as other children of their age and may need people to be patient and to explain things carefully. Children with disabilities just need some extra help so that they can have the chance to do everyday things that other children may take for granted.

Teenagers

Sometimes, the preconception that teenagers are the most challenging group to work with isn’t always true. Teenagers, like all other age groups of children, come into care for a variety of reasons. Working with this age group is equally, if not more rewarding, than working with any other age group. You will share the responsibility of preparing these young people for independent living; teaching them how to budget, cook and transition smoothly into adulthood. What could be more rewarding than that?