Fostering means caring for someone else’s child in your own home, whilst not being the child’s legal guardian.
Children come into foster care for many different reasons. It may not be safe for them to remain with their birth family as they may be at risk of harm from abuse or neglect. Some parents are not able to provide adequate care for their child. This could be due to ill health, drug or alcohol addiction or intellectual disabilities.
Foster care provides a safe, secure and stable environment whilst the child’s needs are assessed and decisions regarding their future are made. These decisions may include the child returning to their birth family, longer term care, adoption or residential care. During a child’s stay in foster care parental responsibility remains with the birth parents and /or Local Authority. This is unlike Adoption where a decision of the court awards the adoptive parents full parental responsibility.