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What is fostering?

When a child cannot live at home or with family they can become a child who is cared for by the local authority. Foster care provides stability, safety and a nurturing environment when this happens. Fostering families give children space and support to flourish and share family life with the children they welcome into their homes.

What is a foster carer?

Foster carers are approved following a thorough assessment process and training. The role of a foster carer can be challenging but also rewarding and fulfilling.

As a foster carer, you're a vital part of a professional team that provides a loving family environment for children.

You will provide consistency for a child and be someone the child can form a positive attachment to.

What does a foster carer do?

Foster carers care for children in their home and carry out the day-to-day activities to meet their needs. Being a nurturing caregiver and building trusting relationships are fundamentals of the role. On a daily basis, foster carers:

  • Make meals 
  • Drop off and pick up children from school
  • Communicate with nursery, school and other educational organisations to support learning
  • Maintain the home and involve children and young people in family life
  • Spend leisure time together, ensure children have the opportunity to play, relax and lead a healthy lifestyle
  • Take children and young people to appointments and activities

Foster carers are also role models for those they look after, offering help, love and patience to children who often need time to trust.

Why do children need foster care in the North East?

Children don't always need long term foster care. In fact, most looked after children come into care on a short-term basis. Sometimes the circumstances behind this may lead to a need for longer term fostering. Every child or young person's situation is different.

Foster care provides support and care for children when they can't live at home due to:

  • Family emergencies such as ill mental or physical health or bereavement. 
  • Parents struggling with alcohol or substance misuse, who need time to overcome these challenges. 
  • Risk of harm from abuse, neglect or domestic violence in the home. 

Foster carers also provide short breaks or respite care for children with disabilities and complex needs. 

Local authority foster care

Foster with North East is made up of 12 collaborative fostering services across our region. Each partner is a local authority that needs more foster carers to support children and families in their area.

As local authority providers, our fostering teams are at the heart of our communities - help us to help them.

To meet the needs of vulnerable children in our region, we want to recruit more foster carers. 

What qualities do you need to be a foster carer?

Patience, empathy and the motivation to make a difference in a child or young person's life are the things we look for in a potential foster carer.

You'll also need plenty of energy and good communication skills too.

Interested in fostering?

You can explore the benefits of fostering and types of fostering on our website to get a better feel for how fostering might work for you. To register your interest with no commitment, call 0800 917 7771. Our hub advisers are ready and waiting to answer any questions you might have, big or small.