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What is fostering?

'Fostering' means looking after somebody else's child in your own home on a short-term or long-term basis.

Foster carers in St. Helens undergo a fostering assessment, and are provided with a support package including pre-approval and ongoing training; all the equipment needed to care for a child; a dedicated social worker and financial allowances.

Every child in our care is as unique as you are. Every child has a different family situation and therefore each child needs a different type of care. We strive to always place children with carers who best suit their individual needs.

Types of fostering

There are three main types of fostering. Our social workers will discuss this with you in detail to help you to decide what type of fostering may be best for you, your family and your lifestyle.

Short-term foster care

This is care for children for a relatively short-period of time, anything from just one night, up to 18 months, for a child aged 0-18. These placements can sometimes be made in an emergency when it is not considered safe for the child to return home.

Long-term foster care

Long-term care is for children who will not be returning to their birth families. Often, long-term carers care for a child until adulthood when they are able to live independently. Long-term fostering is usually for children aged seven and above.

Short Break care

Is care for children with disabilities who require respite on a regular basis, overnight, for a weekend, or during school holidays.

We are also always especially keen to hear from people who have the skills, or would like to develop the skills, to care for a child with disabilities on a full-time basis.

Visit our Short-Break care page for more information.