Children who need fostering

We are currently prioritising families for:

  • Children over the age of 11
  • Sibling groups
  • Disabled children

Children in need of fostering can be any age from newborn babies to teenagers. They may have emotional needs or learning difficulties or be part of a sibling group who do not want to be separated.

There are lots of reasons why children are unable to live with their birth families - drug problems, alcohol problems, or mental health issues to name just a few. Children may need to be in foster care for just a few days or for the remainder of their childhood. Every child’s circumstances are unique and we need to ensure that we respond adequately and put their needs first.

A child’s experiences combined with being separated from their parents or siblings can mean that a child will express their fear, hurt and trauma through difficult or challenging behaviour.

By providing children with the simple things they may have missed out on means that children can start to feel safe and secure and can begin to process their traumatic experiences. This can take a long time and foster carers need to be patient as children develop the courage to look at what has happened to them.

A social worker will work with you to identify the types of foster care which would be best suited to you and your family.

If you have experience of working with, or caring for, older children or those with complex needs, you may be eligible for our higher payment level.

Most of the children within this age group will be moving back home to their birth families or to their new permanent family through adoption. Carers will need to be able to help children move and settle into their home or new family.

Children within this age group who are unable to return to their birth family, need a permanent family.  This could be with family members, through adoption or with their foster carers.  Foster carers need to provide safety and stability while decisions about the child's future are made.

Young person’s profile

Kieran is a 6-year-old little boy.  He enjoys playing with Lego and toy cars.  He was removed from his mother’s care when the police attended the family home and found the home conditions to be unsafe due to his mother's neglect.  Police also found sexual images of children at the home. It is thought that Kieran may have been sexually abused.  Kieran needs to be the only child in placement and enjoys spending one to one time with adults who are able to instil clear boundaries because of the chaotic home environment he has experienced.  Kieran has supervised contact with his mother twice a week which foster carers facilitate.  Kieran attends school but has difficulty forming and maintaining friendships and he is rarely seen playing with others.

There is a high demand for carers who are able to look after children aged 11 and over. This is a time of great change for most children and looking after young people within this age group can present many challenges but can also be very rewarding.

Teenagers can present with complex issues such as drug or alcohol misuse, poor mental health, education issues and criminal or risk-taking behaviour. You need to be available, flexible, committed and able to provide nurturing care within strong boundaries.

You need to have good communication skills and a sense of humour. It is important that you don’t take things too seriously.

Young person’s profile

Paul is 11-years-old, he attends school regularly but is frequently put on report for getting into trouble. He has recently spoken to his school teacher and alleged that his father has been physically abusing him and sexually abusing his younger sister.  His father has been arrested and charged and Paul and his sister need to be placed together with foster carers while assessments are undertaken on their birth mother to see whether they can return to her care. 

He has suffered significant historical trauma as a result of his early childhood experiences and recent assessments of the family have highlighted that Paul has been somewhat scapegoated within his birth family. 

Paul has low self-esteem, and no sense of identity, resulting in him presenting as an angry young man through his behaviour. Paul has experienced neglect, has been physically harmed, and treated differently by others living in his family.  Currently he is showing a strong desire and a need to be in control in everything, and is rejecting efforts of support and encouragement to verbally express his worries and feelings, and gain an understanding that what has happened to him is wrong and not his responsibility.

Most of these children will be boys aged between 14 and 18. They are likely to have experienced significant trauma in their own countries including seeing people being killed, possibly members of their own family. They will also have experienced further trauma in trying to get to this country. They may not speak English.

These children will need considerable support to help them recover from their experiences and to settle into a new country.