What is fostering?

An overview of what being a foster carer involves.

Fostering is caring for a child in your own home when they are unable to stay with their own families.

Foster carers come from all walks of life - what is important is your interest in caring for a child.  We need a diverse range of people with different skills and qualities to come forward so that more children are placed in the right home, first time.

Foster children vary in age from babies to teenagers.  Every child’s story is different but they all require security, stability and the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

These children need the security of an ordinary family life until they can return to their parents, this maybe for a few days or weeks or maybe for a longer period of time.   

We will be working with the parents with the aim for the children to go home, or if this is not possible move to their forever family home, this will be permanence through fostering or adoption depending on the age of the child.

Fostering Statement of Purpose (pdf format, 985Kb)

Fostering can be difficult, especially if the child has emotional or physical problems. You will receive an allowance designed to cover the cost of looking after a foster child, but experienced carers may receive an additional fee when caring for children with more significant needs. Details of allowances and additional fees.

Below is a short film called Loose Ends about a young boy's journey through a period of months.

Loose Ends on Vimeo

Read video transcript

Loose Ends – a short film about a young boys journey through a period of months. In the film, a young boy called Ben lives at home with his mother who is very ill. When Ben’s mother goes into hospital for treatment, Ben is placed in temporary foster care, before eventually finding a more permanent foster home by the end of the film. We see an understandably miserable and lost young boy in Ben for much of the film but there’s a happy conclusion with Ben tying up all of his ‘loose ends’ with the help of a supportive foster family


Ben gets ready for school and runs upstairs to see his mum who is very ill.

Mum: Come in love – are you ready?

Ben - Shrugs

Mum: Have a good day son, see you tonight.

Mum coughs as Ben leaves

Ben sits on stairs he can’t tie his shoelaces – goes to school.


Group of children in temporary foster care talking amongst themselves

Ben walks upstairs but does not join in.

Ben alone in his room

Social Worker: Can I come in? How are you getting on mate?   Look I know it’s not ideal here but you won’t be here forever, like I said it’s just until I find you a more permanent foster placement.

Ben: I hate it here. Why can’t I just go home, or find me a foster home now.

Social Worker: Look you know I can’t let you go home on your own, and while your mum is in hospital you have to stay in our care.

I will try to find you a foster family as soon as I can but we are pretty low on families at the moment which is why you have to stay, just for now.

At school being picked for teams, Ben is the last to be picked. His shoe laces are untied again!

Callum, Keeran, Megan …………………Ben


Ben is now with a new foster family

Ben sits at the kitchen table but his shoe laces are untied.

Foster carer:

Can I get you some more cereal? Don’t forget to brush your teeth and don’t forget to take your homework with you.

Jack – Foster Carer’s son:

Mum could you please stop fussing over Ben, he will be absolutely fine.

Foster Carer:

Jack He’s been through a lot you know, we need to be supportive.

Ben on the stairs very fed up and throws his shoe - Jack picks it up and shows him how to tie his shoe laces.

Help a young person tie up their loose ends in life.