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What is fostering?

Fostering is giving a child a stable and caring home when their parents are unable to look after them for some reason. Portsmouth foster carers provide a safe place and the support that these children and young people need to thrive, whatever situation they have come from. A weekly allowance is paid to the foster carers to cover the costs of looking after the child.

Why are children fostered?

There are a variety of reasons why children need foster care.

It may be because of a family illness, family breakdown and problems at home, or a situation where their welfare is threatened. Many will have experienced neglect and physical, emotional or sexual abuse. While their stories will be different, every child will have faced loss and separation from their birth family. Children who require foster care will often be confused, anxious and in need of reassurance and support from the adult caring for them.

What do you do as a foster carer?

The practicalities of fostering are the same as all families deal with on a daily basis - making sure everyone is fed, clothed, at school on time with homework completed, making sure dental check-ups and doctors' appointments are made, supporting with school and after school activities, supporting children with their interests, hobbies, clubs and making friends, spending leisure time together, listening and offering comfort when its needed, providing support, encouragement, reassurance, guidance and clear boundaries.

However as a foster carer you will also:

  • work as part of a professional team
  • keep records and write reports about the children in your care
  • attend meetings and advocate for the child in your care
  • promote contact with birth families for the child
  • attend training to help develop your skills as a foster carer
  • attend support groups to meet with other foster carers
  • help children manage their behaviour and feelings
  • help children develop their confidence and self esteem