The Fostering Network, the UK's leading fostering charity, state that, in England alone:
Fostering is a means of providing children and young people with a family life when they are unable to live with their own parents. This could be anything from a couple of days to several years. Sometimes children need to be cared for until they reach adulthood. There are many kinds of fostering, but all of them involve caring for someone else’s child or children, so being a foster carer is one of the most responsible and rewarding careers you could ever consider.
There are many reasons why children or young people may need to be looked after in foster care, such as parental illness or exceptional disruption in the family home. In some cases children have suffered neglect or abuse and need to live away from the family for their own safety and welfare. There may be several different factors. However, most children and young people who are fostered do go back to their own families at some point in time.
Foster Carers come from all walks of life and have many different reasons for entering the profession. To find out if you could be a Foster Carer, please look at our 'could I be a Foster Carer' page or contact us for an informal conversation on Freephone 0808 168 1228.
The video below, made by The British Association for Adoption & Fostering (now CoramBAAF Adoption & Fostering Academy) in partnership with the BBC Outreach volunteer initiative, shares the stories and experiences of real foster carers giving a true insight - the challenges and the rewards - of what it is like to be a foster carer. [source]