Why do children need foster care?

Jamie (15)

Jamie

"I've lived with my dad for as long as I can remember, we don't know where mum is. When I became a teenager and got 'too big for my boots', dad started to get violent with me. My teachers at school noticed that I was coming in with bruises. I said that I'd been fighting with my friends, but they didn't believe me. In the end, things got so bad with dad that I ran away from home. Eventually, I was taken into
care. Now I live with Miriam and Geoff. I gave them a bit of grief at first, but I'm just so thankful that they put up with me. I'm now at college studying bricklaying and have made some really cool new friends."

Alfie (6)

Alfie

"I'm not really sure why I can't live with my mummy and daddy, but our house was always messy and mum used to fall asleep a lot and forget to take me to school. I used to eat a lot of crisps and chocolate biscuits, even for breakfast. Sometimes I was left on my own during the day and there would be a lot of strange people in our house at night. I think it was my social worker, Jane, who decided it would be best for me to live with Lisa. I eat a lot healthier now and go to school every day, but not on weekends! I still get to see my mummy and daddy sometimes too."

Mark (7), Jennifer (4) and Katy (1)

Fostering 5

"We know our dad is in prison, and that we won't be able to see him for a long time. Mum couldn't manage us all on her own and started drinking a lot. Jennifer had never been to nursery and isn't very good at talking. She still only drank milk from a baby's bottle.

Now we live with Richard and Steve, Jennifer goes to nursery three times a week and we see mum at the children's centre every Tuesday."

Alex (12) and Suzie (7)

Fostering 7"We've been in and out of care twice. We went to live with our Grandma Pat when mum took drugs when we were little. Mum managed to get clean and we went back to live with her for a little bit. It didn't last long though, but Grandma Pat had got cancer and wasn't well enough to look after us this time, so we went to live with foster carers. It was hard to find someone who would take both of us, and we were told we might get split up, which upset us a lot. We're glad we live with Kelly and Lindsay now."