Why do children need fostering?

Children and young people come into care from a wide variety of situations, and most of the time, the plan is for the child to return to their family as quickly as possible. However, this is not always possible, and the child or young person may need on-going support until they reach adult life.

There are many myths about fostering which carries stigma’s surrounding children in care. In most cases it is not always families that are at fault and foster children are not always difficult. Sometimes people just need a little more help.

The three main reasons why children enter care are:

Instability at home

In some circumstances families go through periods which are difficult, and they are unable to cope. The parents or guardians may need some time to overcome some challenges, so they are able to focus on providing their children with the love and support they need. Examples include family breakdowns, sudden bereavements, medical conditions, depression, or substance abuse.

Special needs

Families that include children with disabilities sometimes need a break, and it can be healthy for everyone in the family for the child with additional needs to have some time away with a foster carer. Fostering children with disabilities can be long-term, or short-term, or for a ‘Short Break’, such as a week or a weekend.


There are cases where a child is exposed to inappropriate behaviour or risks. The child or young persons will be immediately removed from the environment and placed within a safe foster home to help the child recover from the trauma.

The abuse could come in a number of forms, such as sexual, physical, emotional, neglect and domestic violence. The exposure to this could cause some long-lasting effects, where the child may need some additional support.


If you are considering becoming a Foster Carer, you have to do it for the right reasons, and you have to be patient. It's never going to be easy, but by listening to a young person, giving them time and being there to support them, you can make a massive difference to their lives - although you might not see it right away." Glen, a Bexley foster carer