What is Foster Care?
Foster care is when you step into the role of a parent to children who have been removed from their own family home. The removal is orchestrated by the local authority upon the report of the child being in a dangerous, unsafe, or unprotected environment. If, for instance, the parent or parents have died, the child must be taken into care until another family member or friend is available to provide a proper home. A more likely situation involves the adults in the house abusing or neglecting the child.
There are about 64,000 children and young people living with 55,000 fostering families at any given time in the United Kingdom. This is just under 80% of the 81,000 children in care on any single day. Each and every one of these 81,000 deserves a safe haven. This is why there is a force of caring, selfless, foster families throughout the country stepping up to provide a safe haven for these vulnerable children.
The children and young people vary from year to year, from month to month, from day to day, as some age out of the system at age 18, are adopted, or returned to their families and new ones are removed from their homes. The local authorities investigate each and every individual circumstance and determine what can be done to restore the young person to their own family.
While such a decision is being made, an emergency “placement” might be needed. This can last for a few hours or a few days. In some circumstances, a kinship placement can be made. Depending on the reasons for the young person needing protection, a child can be with you short-term, lasting for a few months to more than a year.
If the child becomes available for adoption, the carer provides a temporary home during the transition period. Sometimes the child cannot be put up for adoption but cannot be safely returned to their birth family either. This can mean the child remains in your care for a long time or until they age out of care.
There are independent fostering agencies, such as Welcome, providing the parenting and nurturing that is so desperately needed. Welcome provides the support and the benefits that help you create a worry-free home. There is no financial burden on you, as a carer. Any special help and support that you need is provided. Living expenses are paid for.
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We need foster carers from all walks of life and from a diversity of races and cultural backgrounds. Just as there are different types of fostering, we need different types of foster carers. If you are interested, let us know. It doesn’t matter if you are married or single, as long as you have the time, patience and flexibility to make a difference to a child’s life
To become a carer, there is an application and assessment process that can take up to six months. During this time you undergo foster carer training and our social worker makes several home visits. This helps us get to know you and the members of your household. There are also health and police checks.
To learn more about how to become part of the Welcome team, such as what is required of you, the training, and services we provide, contact us on 020 3397 3332 or fill in our form. A member of our staff can discuss the application process with you.