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What is fostering?

Foster care occurs when a child can no longer live with their birth family, so is placed into the care of foster parents. The job of the foster carer is to provide a secure, safe and nurturing environment for the foster child – which can be either on a temporary or more permanent basis. The length of the placement will depend on a number of factors – such as if the child can return to their birth family, or whether they need to consider placing the child in long-term care.

Independent foster care agency or local authority?

Foster parents are always registered with either an approved independent fostering agency, such as Excel Fostering, or by a local authority. Although most local authorities in England have their own foster carers, over the last ten years, there has been an increase in the number of foster children being looked after by foster parents registered with independent agencies.

Whether to choose a local authority or an independent fostering agency is a decision that you’ll need to make when considering becoming a foster carer, but many new carers choose to join agencies, such as Excel. Agencies can provide extensive foster care support and training – and provide more of a hands-on feel, meaning you’ll feel supported every step of the way on your fostering journey.

What’s the difference between adoption and fostering?

People often assume adoption and fostering, especially long term fostering, mean the same thing. However, there are some key differences between adoption and fostering. Foster care is a temporary measure, where the local authority and the child’s birth parents still have legal responsibility for the child. However, adoption refers to a long-term permanent solution where, as the parents, you will have full legal responsibility of the child. Find out more in our guide: Fostering vs Adoption.

Types of foster care

There is a wide variety of different types of foster care available and, as a foster carer, it’s important to be adaptable – as placements can be versatile. Some placements can begin as emergency fostering, and then lead into a more long-term solution. Some of the different types of foster care include:

Learn more about the different types of fostering from our detailed breakdown.

Why foster with Excel Fostering?

Here at Excel Fostering, we provide a family-feel agency with a passion for helping change the lives of children and young people. As a foster carer with Excel, you will be given extensive foster care training – ensuring that you are prepared for your placements, and nurturing you to become the best foster carer you can be. We also provide 24-hour support to all our carers – meaning that we’re here with you every step of the way.

Want to know more about how to get into foster care? Speak to our experts today.

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