Fostering provides children who cannot live with their own families an alternative home where they can feel valued, respected and cared for. Adoption is a legal process which provides children who cannot be brought up by their own parents a new permanent family.

Foster Care

Fostering is a way of providing a temporary safe and secure home and family care for a child or young person who, for various reasons, is unable to live with their own family.

Foster care may be needed for a few days or a few weeks or it can be for a much longer period. The aim is for children to return to their own families where possible and where it has been assessed as safe for them to do so.

Full details of how to become a foster carer, what it involves and help with the cost can be found at GOV.UK

If you are interested in becoming a foster carer you can apply at this link.

For information about leaving foster care visit GOV.UK.

The Fostering Network  has been campaigning for improvements for nearly 40 years working with key decision makers such as Government Ministers, civil servants and elected representatives in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to put into place policies that are best for fostered children and foster families.


Adoption is a way of providing a new family for children who for whatever reason cannot be brought up by their own parents.

It's a legal procedure in which all the parental responsibility is transferred to the adopters.

Once an adoption order has been granted it can't be reversed except in extremely rare circumstances.

An adopted child loses all legal ties with their first mother and father (the "birth parents") and becomes a full member of the new family, usually taking the family's name.

To adopt a child you must go through either an adoption agency that’s part of your local council or a voluntary adoption agency.

Full details of the adoption process and what it involves can be found at GOV.UK

The Consortium of Voluntary Adoption Agencies (CVAA) is a membership organisation for voluntary adoption agencies working to ensure their member agencies are enabled to deliver services of excellence to children, adoptive families, and all those considering adoption, or who have been affected by it.

They have produced a detailed guide to adopting a child available at this link.

Advice on adopting brothers and sisters is available here.

The Adolescent and Children’s Trust (TACT) is the UK’s largest deicated fostering and adoption charity and voluntary agency. TACT are dedicated to providing effective services and campaigning on behalf of children and young people in care and families.

Barnardo’s works with local authorities across the UK to provide a broad range of fostering and adoption services.

CoramBAAF Adoption & Fostering Academy  are the UK's leading membership organisation for professionals working to improve outcomes for children and young people in care.

Adoption leave and pay

If you adopt a child while you are working you may be entitled to Statutory Adoption Pay and Leave, whiich is paid time off work when they first join your family. Full details are available at MyAdviceGateway - Stautory Adoption Pay and Leave

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