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What is fostering?

a foster child riding a bike in the park with his foster parents

All children need stability, safety and the chance to develop in a loving home. Foster care offers children who have had a difficult start in life this opportunity. 

Fostering is when you temporarily care for a child to provide them with a safe and stable home. It might be because their family isn’t able to look after them or there is a problem at home. Some children have experienced trauma or have been separated from their families. 

Local authorities decide when a chilcan’t stay with their family. As part of Essex County Council, we are responsible for all the children in care in Essex. We help decide if children need foster care and then we match them with suitable families to give them the best possible outcome. 

Sometimes, children in temporary foster care can’t return to their birth parents. The legal system will decide the best option for the child, which might be long-term foster care or adoption. 

Almost anyone can become a foster carer and we provide training, support and assessments to get you ready to foster. Foster carers can choose whether to provide short-term or long-term foster care. You work as part of a team of professionals to help the child recover from trauma and adjust to a new family life. Foster carers play an important role in providing a safe environment and positive home experience for a child. 

There are many different types of fostering, ranging from one day placements to fostering a child until they are 18. All sorts of different children need foster care, including teenagers, babies, children with disabilities and sibling groups. 

Next > Can I foster?

or to talk to our friendly recruitment team call 0800 801 530