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Who you can foster

Learn about the kind of children who need foster carers.

A child’s needs are as unique as they are

Some lead unpredictable, insecure and unsettled lives. They may have experienced abuse or neglect. Their parents may have:

  • alcohol or drug dependency,
  • mental health problems, or
  • learning difficulties.

They may have more than one thing to deal with. Whatever their background, we ensure people like you can offer children and teenagers the security and stability they need to build a strong, happy, secure future.

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    I just need to see the same face every day, someone to trust, someone to love me.

Don’t uproot a child

That’s a golden rule to us. The stability you offer means a child can stay in Oxfordshire. It helps keep their education uninterrupted and means they maintain important, supportive relationships.

Yes! I’m interested in finding out more

Children who need carers most

500 Oxfordshire children are currently living in foster homes – nearly 200 were placed last year alone. The average age is just under 10 years old but we need carers for all age groups. We are particularly interested in finding foster carers for the following groups of children.

Under 11s

Helping children keep close relationships with family and friends is important. And last year many of the 250 children in this age group had to move out of Oxfordshire due to a shortage of local carers. We need your help to change that.

Teenagers (11 - 17)

The choices you make in your teenage years often play out across the rest of your life. That’s why Oxfordshire teenagers in foster care need your guidance, patience and flexibility to help them make sense of this challenging time. At the moment, we urgently need homes for 11–17 year old’s with a variety of support needs. For many foster families, this age group suits their lifestyle and availability to foster.

You’ll help them develop the maturity and skills needed to become an adult, from cooking to managing money. And provide a safe environment in troubled and sometimes traumatic circumstances. We will back you with excellent support and training.

Watch the video: Fostering teenagers



When you’ve lived through difficult times together, your brother or sister might be the only person who truly understands what you’ve experienced. When you foster two or more children, you can keep families together and reinforce those important bonds. It might not be an easy decision to make, but it will have a lifelong, positive impact.

Disabled children

All you need is space and commitment to give a child with physical/learning disabilities a better life. We’ll provide the additional skills, experience and training you may need.


Looking after any baby isn’t easy, but some need extra care and compassion. Babies who need foster care may be born with foetal alcohol syndrome or drug withdrawal, and your care at this time is essential. As well as day-to-day care, you may:

  • work with the birth family to get the child back home, or
  • host introductions with adoptive parents and the child.

Children from different cultural and faith backgrounds

Young people in care deserve the opportunity to explore their cultural identity, heritage and faith. So, where possible, we match children of black, mixed heritage, and different ethnic backgrounds and faiths, with carers who share them. Carers who can help them understand and celebrate their backgrounds and get that sense of belonging that comes with knowing your history—carers like you.

Unaccompanied asylum seekers

Teenagers who arrive alone in Oxfordshire to seek asylum are often the most traumatised and vulnerable young people we place. They’ll need time, space, and safe, stable, loving homes to process their experiences of trauma, tragedy, and displacement. Your support and care will be essential as they settle into a new environment and rebuild their lives.

The right match for you

We work hard to find the best possible match for your home. Where necessary you’ll receive additional training and support to meet the needs of your foster child. This ensures your foster carer experience is as successful as possible.

  • You can foster relatives and children of family friends

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    When children are brought up by family members or friends, it is known as family and friends care. If this is what you’re interested in specifically, please do get in touch and ask us about it.