Could you foster?
There is no typical foster carer and Wiltshire Council welcomes people from all backgrounds, nationalities, religions, genders and ages.
Fostering is a temporary arrangement where a child or children who cannot live with their own family are placed in a secure family environment often for a short period of time.
Many fostered children return to their own families. If this isn't possible, children can live in the warmth and safety of long-term foster care, with most keeping in touch with their birth family. Some younger foster children may move to live with an adoptive family.
When it's unsafe for children to remain with their birth parents due to difficulties at home, we look to move them to live with extended family members. If this is not possible, we place them with a local foster family.
Their parents could be very ill, experiencing a family breakdown, or struggling with addiction. Children are often vulnerable and likely to have suffered from trauma and loss.
Placing a child in foster care is sometimes the best and safest option for their wellbeing.
Above all, foster carers are known for their love, warmth, generosity, patience and positivity.
You would provide a safe haven for children while we work with their parents to help resolve their problems. You'd be responsible for the child's day-to-day care and all their educational, emotional, health and social needs.
You'll help the child keep in touch with their birth family and attend meetings to discuss their welfare and future plans. You may also help to return the child to their birth family or, where this isn't possible, move him or her to adopters or long-term carers, or they could stay long-term with you.
Who makes a good foster carer?
We're looking for couples, families and individuals who can make space in their home and heart to help a child through a difficult time.
You'll need a good sense of humour, plenty of tolerance and understanding, bags of enthusiasm and want to make a positive difference to young people's lives.
You must be at least 21 or over to foster, have a spare bedroom, and drive. There's no upper age limit as long as you're fit and healthy enough to care for our children.
Our foster carers come from diverse backgrounds.
We welcome applications from people of all religions, sex, genders, race, age, sexual orientation and marital status.
You may have children of your own, your children may have flown the nest, or you may be retired with time on your hands.
You may have relevant and transferable experiences from working in related areas e.g. youth work, teaching, residential care or paediatric nursing. You can be a foster carer if you live with a disability.
As long as you're over 21, all that matters to us is that you're healthy enough to meet the challenges and rewards fostering will provide.
Pre-school children need to have full-time carers. For children in school, you'll need to be around before and after school and during school holidays. If your foster child is sick or gets excluded from school you'll be responsible for their care.
Couples and single people with or without children can become foster carers
Foster carers often have children of their own or have grown up children and grandchildren who come to visit
You can still work and become a foster carer. Many people work from home or fit work around caring for children
You must have a bedroom in your home for each child you wish to foster
You don't have to own your own home to foster. Renters can foster too!
Foster carer, Vicky said:
People should consider fostering. If they have room in their home and room in their heart. The potential to do some incredibly good things for young people is there.