How does fostering work?

Posted on Friday 5th November 2021

The UK fostering system is set up to provide temporary care for a child when their parents are unable to look after them.

In order to provide children and young people with the best possible care they need, foster carers must be recruited and trained to give young people a loving home for as long as its needed.

How does the foster care system work in the UK?

It’s no secret that the foster care system is complex and complicated. In some cases, there are organisations, charities, local authorities and the government all working together to ensure children and young people are looked after.

In the UK, the primary responsibility of children placed in foster care falls on the local authority. However, the UK government also plays a part in funding, laws and legislation of foster care.

For example in Staffordshire, Staffordshire County Council are responsible for the children in foster care in the Staffordshire area.

What is foster care?

Foster care means children have a safe place to live whilst they are unable to live with their birth parents.

The job of a foster carer is to provide a secure environment and home for the young person initially on a temporary basis, which sometimes becomes permanent.

Becoming a foster carer is a full-time job, and they receive full training and support throughout the entire process to help provide foster children with the highest standard of care possible.

Around 79% of looked after children in the UK live with a foster family. This is because the fostering system is well established in the UK, and is a successful way of looking after children whilst they cannot live with their parents.

How is foster care different from adoption?

Foster care is different to adoption.

Adoption is where a new, permanent family is provided for children who can’t live with their birth parents. An adoption order transfers the legal relationship away from the child’s birth parents to a new adoptive family who become the child’s legal guardians.

The vast majority of children in the UK do not require a new family through adoption. Usually, children require the highest standard of care through fostering until they can return to their biological family.

How to foster a child

In order to foster a child, you must be able to provide care, support and supervision on a daily basis.

To be a Foster for Staffordshire foster carer, you must have the following:

  • A spare bedroom
  • A stable and loving family home
  • A sense of humour and lots of patience
  • Free time to be able to attend meetings and training
  • An ability to work with a wide range of professionals
  • Be open and honest during the assessment process and on-going
  • Offer advice and support to every child and nurture their skills

If you’re interested in becoming a foster carer, enquire online now or call 0800 169 2061  today and we’ll help answer your questions about fostering.