What is fostering?

Caring for a child in need is an incredibly rewarding experience, but what exactly is fostering, and why should you consider becoming a foster carer for young people in your area?

Scroll down to find out more about fostering, or if you're ready to apply, just hit the button below!

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Why do children need fostering?

Placing a child into foster care is a decision not made lightly by the local authority, but sometimes it's the only way to protect a young person from an unsafe environment.

The reasons to remove a child from their homes can be varied, but whatever the reason, it's the job of the local authority, social workers and foster carers to help the young person feel safe and secure in their new home. That's where you come in!

What is foster care?

Ultimately, foster care is about providing a safe, stable family-environment to a child in need. Working closely with the Local Authority, Unity Foster Care are responsible for placing a child with a sympathetic, understanding individual or family who can offer permanent or temporary care, depending on the situation.

Sometimes a child is only placed into foster care for a few weeks, and happily return home when they're able to do so. However, the majority of children need a long-term solution and require more care from the foster carer(s).

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The young people we support...

We find loving homes for children of all ages! Usually, foster carers prefer to concentrate on a specific age group according to their experience. Children also often come into care with brothers and sisters, and we believe it's important to keep siblings together; so, it helps to have foster carers who can care for more than one child.

Wherever possible, children are prepared for separation from their birth parents, and foster carers play a major role in maintaining their contact with parents. However, some children may be removed under traumatic and emergency circumstances, which can sometimes result in significant emotional and behavioural difficulties. Children who have suffered a severely traumatic experience will need a sensitive and patient approach to their care.

Unity Foster Care and the Local Authority always provide each carer with an individualised care plan and other helpful training, to ensure every child is cared for in the best possible way!

Ready to apply? Start your application!

Name*
Address*
Do you have a spare bedroom?*
Do you have easy access to transportation?*
Consent*

Frequently asked questions!

There is not a qualification as such, but they do go through a comprehensive process of assessment, training and checks before we approve them as carers. All our Foster Carers have had police checks, medicals and further checks as deemed appropriate under the Fostering Regulations 2011.

  • To provide the child or young person with a safe and nurturing environment
  • The Foster Carer is expected to help any fostered child to keep in planned contact with their friends and family
  • To make day to day decisions about the child’s routine care
  • To share information with Children’s Social Care and not to keep secrets or agree to keep relevant information shared with them
  • Establish clear, fair and consistent boundaries
  • Deal with negative behaviour in a positive way
  • Encourage a child’s self-esteem and positive self-image
  • Work openly with all other agencies involved
  • Help the child to be heard and listened to

The term ‘long-term foster care’ is used by Social Workers to describe the needs of children for whom Children’s Social Care must find permanent alternative families for the duration of childhood.

Children’s Social Care have a duty to protect children from significant harm. They work hard to assist parents to care for their children. However, in some cases, a child may not be safe within the birth family and will not be able to return home. Such children may need adoptive parents, a long-term foster placement or other care arrangements, lasting the duration of childhood.

This will depend upon each child’s situation. Children who need permanent care will generally have plans agreed and protected by a Court Order. The decision will already have been made that a child cannot be cared for by their birth parent(s).

However, depending upon the situation there may still be benefit for a child continuing to have some contact with a parent or relative either indirectly (by letter, exchange of photographs etc) or by direct contact. If the placement is short term, there will probably be ongoing and regular contact with the birth family.