Long-term or permanent care

Could you provide a permanent home for a child or young person?

“When a little one puts their arm around you and snuggles into your neck, you know they feel safe and a part of the family. That’s really important.”

Sometimes it’s not possible or safe for a child to return to their own family so we look for a permanent foster family for them, if they are aged seven or above. Younger children will usually be adopted.

Offering ‘permanence’ means you will be including a child as a complete member of your family. You will be caring for them throughout their childhood and helping them gain the skills they need to eventually live independently. They will always be a part of your family.

You won’t be on your own, there is always a team of people to help. You will have your own fostering social worker and the child has their own social worker too.

Although you will be looking after a child permanently, their birth family are still important to them. There are usually arrangements for them to keep in touch – this could be meeting occasionally up or exchanging cards and letters.

I suppose it's hard to explain why they are special but they are because they took me in when nobody else wanted me.

Young person in foster care

Who can offer this sort of care?

You need to have experience of looking after children perhaps as parents, foster carers, or adoptive parents. If you feel you could offer a permanent home to a child we would try and ‘match’ you and your family to the right child or children.

How to become a foster carer