Why foster?

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Fostering is one of the most varied, challenging and rewarding jobs you can do. Fostering services are always recruiting more foster carers, particularly to look after teenagers, disabled children, unaccompanied asylum seekers and groups of brothers and sisters.

Every year, tens of thousands of children across the UK need foster carers while they can’t live with their own families. Like other jobs working with children, fostering isn’t easy but is very rewarding and makes a huge difference to children’s lives.

Foster carers are childcare experts working with a team of professionals providing children with the highest standard of care. Alongside this professionalism, they offer these children love, warmth and a positive experience of family life.

There is nothing quite like fostering if you want to work with children. Working from home, it’s possible to combine fostering with caring for your own children, or to combine fostering and other work, depending on the age and needs of the children in your care. There are many different types of fostering, and each foster carer chooses what is right for them and their family.

In addition to practical support, all foster carers receive an allowance to cover the cost of looking after a fostered child. Some also receive a fee for the work that they do. Throughout their fostering career, foster carers can take advantage of continued professional development. In addition, a range of roles is available within many fostering services, such as helping with recruitment of new foster carers or running support groups.

A wider pool of foster carers is needed right across the UK, so children can live with a family in their local area wherever possible. It’s important that children live with families that are a good “match” for them, in terms of location, culture, lifestyle, language, and interests. More foster carers are currently needed to offer homes to teenagers, disabled children, sibling groups and unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.

Foster carers have a unique chance to make a real difference to a child’s life, supporting them and working to help them develop and achieve their potential.

I became a foster carer because I believe that you should always give something back to your community. The biggest rewards come when the children I have looked after achieve what they should.

Marcia, foster carer for more than 10 years

If, after considering becoming a foster carer, you don't think fostering is for you, but would still like to help transform fostered children's lives, please make a donation to The Fostering Network.