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What is a Fostering

Fostering is acting as a parent or guardian for a child when the young persons’ parent is unable to care for their child at home. Usually a foster carer is appointed by their local authority or a fostering agency like Pride Fostering Service. Foster parents look after children in their own homes and provide them with the care, stability and family life on a short or long term basis. Often seen as a better solution for looked after children than a children’s home, having a safe, calm family environment can help a child come to terms with the difficulties of their experiences more easily. Foster parents care for many different children from all sections of the community, it is with the support of foster carers, the children and young people who are in most need in our society have the opportunity to experience a fulfilling and nurturing childhood.

Foster parents are classed as self-employed who undertake the care of children assigned to them by the local authority or a private fostering agency. A foster parent may have more than one foster child in their care at any one time and can foster all year round if they wish.

Being a foster parent gives joy to many people, not only are you keeping a child safe, you are helping them to develop and grow.

There are currently over 60,000 children in the care system in the UK* and each of these children require a place to call home, around 50,000 of those children are placed with foster families leaving around 10,000 children in children’s homes and needing foster families.

We are always in need of more foster families and as the population grows, the demand for foster parents is set to continue. If you have ever thought about becoming a foster parent, why not apply?

What we need is caring individuals that can provide the following:

  • A safe and secure home
  • A spare room
  • An understanding of children and their behavior
  • A willingness to learn and develop your childcare skills
  • A positive attitude and an ability to work with social services and parents
  • Have a caring and compassionate attitude

These are essential skills for any potential foster parent and are things that most people possess. For more information on the requirements of foster parents view our can I foster page



Emergency Foster Care:

Emergency foster care is provided when a child needs a home urgently because the young person needs a safe place to stay. These can last for a few days before the child is able to return to their families. If they are unable to return home a longer-term foster placement may be required.

Short-term foster placement

Short term foster care is when a young person needs a loving, safe, nurturing, home for a short period of time. This can be for a few weeks or months and can last up to two years. The young person will then either be reunited with family or placed into a longer term arrangement.


Longer-term placement:

Long term placements are used when there is no realistic prospect of a child being able to return to the family home. The care plan for that young person will be to remain in care until they are able to live on their own.


Respite placement:

Generally, respite placements provide care for a week or weekend and are used when a family caring for an ill child or child with complex needs. This gives a much-needed rest to those who are caring for some of the most vulnerable in society.

Without foster carers, the children who are in foster care would be reliant on care homes or an adoptive parent, with adoption figures as low as 5000 this year, this would mean over 60,000 children would be left without a home to call their own and the care system would struggle to cope.

People who choose to become foster parents are changing lives and ensuring that the children placed into their care are given a chance to overcome the adversities that they have faced. Having the support of the foster carers means that foster children can be given a secure and stable environment to call home.

There are some very attractive incentives for foster parents, not limited to but including a very healthy fostering allowance as well as a tax break of £10,000 per year.**

Please visit our fostering allowance page for more information.

Fully committed to providing the best foster care, Pride fostering invests in our foster carers. We provide ongoing training sessions as well as local support groups giving you the chance to meet with other foster carers.

We have a dedicated support line which operates 24 hours a day to give our foster parents the support that they need it, when they need it.

We believe that we succeed when we all work together, providing foster care is not just about placement but also effective communication between children, foster carers, social services and ourselves.


Ready to join us?

When people ask foster parents what is fostering, or what is a foster carer, they will give numerous answers such as being good listeners, being patient, being understanding, providing unwavering care, the list goes on and on. A foster carer is a person who is able to make a difference in a young person’s life, using their own qualities and strengths as people. Foster carers are unique.

So now you have an idea of what if fostering and what is a foster carer, consider becoming a foster carer with Pride Fostering Service, where you will experience the support, development and guidance you need to be a successful foster carer.

To make an enquiry with us about becoming a foster parent you can request a callback here.

Fostering can be stressful, difficult and tiring work but ultimately, very rewarding. Giving a child a place to call home at a time of great need and watching them develop, grow and flourish is a feeling that money cannot buy. Many of our foster parents say that they would not change their job for anything else!

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