Foster care is the placing of young people under temporary or long term guardianship with approved and certified couples or individuals, who have been deemed safe, responsible, and have undergone various checks while being approved by a local authority or an independent fostering agency to take in a single child or siblings.
For the thousands of children who find themselves living in foster care every year, the family that they are placed with can have all the difference in how they adjust, adapt, and thrive. While most of the young people who end up in foster homes are vulnerable, each brings their own story, their own challenges and fears, and their own individual needs – and it is the job of our foster carers to be there to nurture and show these children love, regardless of their past.
Fostering is, in essence, a system through which we can place any young person with couples or individuals who have undergone various checks and been approved by us – deemed safe and responsible to take in a single child or siblings. The more families and potential foster carers we can partner with, the greater our chance of making sure that every vulnerable child finds the right home for them – for as long as they need it.
The fostering process
The first thing to understand about fostering and the process of a fostering agency is that, where possible, we will try to match children with foster parents in the right geographical area for them. For some, that might mean finding adopted parents who are close to their birth family; for others it might be a placement that enables them to remain in the same school and hold onto as much consistency in their routine as possible.
Here at Blue Sky Fostering, our team operates across Kent, Hampshire, Sussex, and Devon – supporting both young people and foster carers in the Southeast and Southwest of England.
The fostering process begins when a child or teenager can no longer live with their birth parents. There are many reasons why this might happen, and as such there is no set timeline for any single foster placement. Some placements last for days, weeks or months, others for years – it depends on the child, their needs, and the situation through which they find themselves needing foster care.
Local authorities and governments oversee the foster care system in England and across the South as well as across the entire UK. They then outsource the foster placements to independent providers such as Blue Sky Fostering, allowing us to create and nurture direct relationships with our community of local foster carers to provide the very best support and guidance.
What does that mean for you? It means that every step of the process involves us, so you will always have a friendly face to turn to if you need support or help when integrating a foster child into your family life.