About fostering

What is fostering?

There are different types of fostering, you may want to try different types of fostering, or specialise in a specific area, such as caring for teenagers.

Before you begin to think about the type of fostering that is for you, you should take the time to understand what fostering is.

Fostering is looking after a child or young person who can’t live with their own family. This is after Family Proceedings Court decides it is in the child’s best interests to live away from their birth family.

When children in Sefton are made the subjects of Care Orders, Sefton Council becomes their corporate parent and can make decisions on behalf of the child.

All children are unique, so there are lots of different reasons they need to be with foster carers.

Some children may need to be looked after for only a short time until they can return home, while others will stay with foster carers for longer until they reach independence.

Children who are looked after face big challenges, they will need your love and support to help them through.

Fostering children will not be easy, but with patience and kindness you will make a huge difference to them. It could be the most rewarding thing you will ever do.

What is fostering?


What are the different types of fostering?

Short Term

Short term fostering provides children with a temporary place to stay. This is until they can return to their birth family, move to a long term fostering placement or they are adopted. Short term foster carers will care for children for between a few days or a year.

Long Term
Long-term fostering is caring for a child as a member of your family until they can live independently. This type of fostering is a good alternative to adoption.

Children in long-term foster care have lacked the attachment to an adult which is vital to their development. They need your commitment so they can attach to you safely without fear of further loss.

Emergency fostering means taking a child into your home at very short notice. It usually involves children staying with you for a few nights while a more suitable placement is found. It can happen at any time.

Respite fostering is looking after children to give other foster carers a break. You will care for children for anywhere between a few days to two weeks. It is planned and may occur at regular intervals.

Teenage Fostering
As a foster carer for teenagers you will be crucial to giving them the knowledge, skills and confidence to successfully move on to adulthood.

Parent and Baby Fostering
Parent and baby fostering provides a home for a young parent and their baby when they are unable to live with their own family. You will give them confidence to take on the responsibility of caring for their children.