Foster care provides a safe family environment for children who cannot, for lots of different reasons, live with their own families. Here we set out exactly what foster carers do and how to become one.
What is Foster Care?
Foster care supports children from many different backgrounds and with often challenging life experiences.
A foster carer looks after children or young people who are unable to live in their own family home and provides them with practical and emotional support in a safe and secure environment.
It is used to provide temporary care while parents are provided with the necessary support that hopefully allows the children to return to their family home. Other times children may stay in longer-term foster care, may go on to be adopted or, when they are ready, may move on to live independently.
Finding a Foster Carer in Wales
Foster care is usually considered as an option for children or young people who are no longer able to live in their own homes with their own families.
Local authorities have their own foster care workforce and are also supported by foster care agencies. Social services staff will offer information and advice, and work with individuals to find them the most suitable home to meet their needs.
Who regulates Fostering Services?
In Wales, fostering services must be registered with Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW), who register, inspect and take action to improve the quality of care services throughout Wales.
The Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016 came into force on 2 April 2018. It focuses on improving the quality of care and support, and on well-being outcomes for people using services. It also gave Care Inspectorate Wales increased powers to take swifter, stronger action when needed. For more information, please see the Care Inspectorate Wales website.
Working in Foster Care
When you apply to be a foster carer, you must undertake a detailed assessment and approval process. You must be at least 21 years-old (although by law you can apply to foster from 18) and be a full-time resident in the UK or have leave to remain. You must have a spare bedroom big enough for a child or young person to live in and be able to give the time to care, often on a full-time basis.
If you would like to search for vacancies near you, the WeCare Wales Jobs portal has the latest openings.
The Fostering Network also offer support and guidance on their website:
Roles within Foster Care
Below are some of the roles that are available within the Foster Care sector.
As a Foster Carer you’ll look after children or young people who are unable to live in their own family home and provide them with practical and emotional support in a safe and secure environment.
Fostering Services Manager
As a Fostering Services Manager, you’ll be responsible for overseeing a high-quality service that can provide security and stability to children who are living away from their family home.
Job vacancies in care
Wales needs more social care workers.
Many people working in social care have made the jump from jobs such as hospitality or retail. Use your transferable skills and apply for roles in your area now.