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What is fostering?

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Fostering is when a child or a young person is cared for by someone who is not their birth family.

Children and young people need foster care for many reasons. Some parents have health related problems that prevent them from being able to care adequately for their children. Unfortunately, others struggle because they did not have a good parenting experience and therefore find it very difficult to be a parent themselves. This can sometimes result in the abuse and neglect of children or young people. Other parents who have children with a disability need support to help care for them.

Fostering provides these children or young people with alternative family care where they can feel valued, respected and cared for.

As of the 31st March 2015 there are 69,540 children and young people in care in England and 52,050 (75 %) of these vulnerable children and young people are living in foster care.

What these children and young people need is security, patience and understanding to help them grow up to be responsible adults, living their lives to the full and being able to meet and cope with the challenges that face all of us at different stages in our lives.