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What is foster care?

Foster care is when a child can no longer live with their own family, so is placed into the care of foster carers.

Foster care meaning

Foster care offers children a safe and caring family when their biological parents cannot take care of them, which is usually geographically close to their family home. The foster carer, or foster parents', job is to provide a safe, secure environment for the foster child on either a temporary or more permanent basis. In the United Kingdom, there are about 78,000 children who have been taken into care, and more than 60% of the time, these children are taken into care because of abuse or neglect. Find out more reasons why children are in foster care.

What is the difference between fostering and adoption?

The main difference between fostering and adoption is that when adopting a child, the adopted parents take full legal responsibility of the child as adoption is a permanent solution. However, the role of a foster carer is usually on more of a temporary basis – and the local authority and child’s birth parents still have legal responsibility for the child. For more information, read our Fostering Vs Adoption guide – which provides a detailed explanation of the difference between the two.

Independent fostering agency or local authority?

Foster carers are registered with either an approved independent fostering agency, like us here at Capstone Foster Care, or by a local authority. Most local authorities in England have their own foster carers, but over the last ten years, increasingly more foster children are looked after by carers registered with fostering agencies. This year, nearly half of all new foster placements will be made with fostering agencies.

Most new carers choose to join private independent agencies like us, rather than a local authority – this is often due to the extensive fostering training and extra support that’s provided. By choosing an independent fostering agency, you will receive 24-hour support any day of the year from our friendly and expert team. Learn more about the benefits of fostering with an independent fostering agency.

Types of foster care

There are various types of foster care available for carers. It may be that a placement begins on an emergency fostering placement, but then moves into a long placement response. Some of the different types of fostering include:

To learn more, find out about all the different types of foster care now.

Why foster?

All children deserve a safe place to live – and the demand for foster carers to support the children in the care system is always high. Are you passionate about making a difference in young people’s lives? Being a foster parent may be the right path for you.

And by choosing Capstone as your fostering agency, you’ll be in safe hands – with our team guiding you every step of the way. Allow us to let you become the best foster carer you can be - learn more about why you should foster with Capstone now.

Do you have experience or interest in providing a family life for children? Or are you wondering how to get into foster care? Contact Capstone Foster Care to discuss the assessment process today. In the meantime, learn more about the fostering requirements, what a foster family is and why you should choose Capstone – and apply for foster care today.

Thinking of fostering?

If you’ve got any questions or would like to find out more about fostering with Capstone, fill out the form below.
An experienced fostering advisor from your local area will then be in touch.

The information you provide will be used to respond to the enquiry you have submitted, for further information please refer to our privacy policy.

Ways to

Start the conversation today. Our team of friendly advisors are on hand to answer any foster care questions you may have. We can offer you honest and practical advice that can help you decide if becoming a foster carer is the right path for you. 

Request a
call back

Contact us by completing our online form and one of our fostering advisors will respond to your enquiry within 24 hours.

Call us

Contact us by phone and one of our friendly fostering experts will be on hand for any foster care advice and support you require.

Live chat

Chat with us online today and get the answers to your questions immediately from one of our expert fostering advisors.