A background image

I have found the foster carers provide a welcoming, heart warming, home environment and they ensure that the young peoples needs are met

Northampton County Council

What is Fostering?

Pathway Care Wales awarded Tier 1 status

The best definition of fostering is the ability to give a child or young person a safe and nurturing home. Not all children are able to experience family life with their parents, so our amazing foster carers are there to offer them a loving, secure environment.

A common question asked by budding foster carers is how does fostering differ from adoption? Well the main difference comes down to who is ultimately responsible for the child. If you foster, the local authority still hold this responsibility. This is why fostering agencies such as Pathway Care work hard to maintain great relationships with local councils and communities – fostering is a group effort. Adoption however differs in that this legal responsibility is passed on to the adopting parents.

Another important foster care definition is the ability to offer children and young people the stability and security they desperately need. Many foster children experience neglect or abuse, situations that have a huge impact on their emotional and psychological health. This is something that carers help their foster children to overcome, giving them a supportive home where they can work through their problems. As no two children are the same, there is no such thing as a ‘typical fostering situation’. This is what can make fostering a challenging but always rewarding adventure.

Foster care comes in many different shapes and sizes. Regardless of your experience or ability, there’s always a way you can help and support a child in need. Whether you foster for a day or a decade, your care can make a life-changing difference.

  • Weekend /‘respite’ foster care – offer a full-time carer a much needed recharge.
  • Short-term foster care – care for a child for a day, several months or even years.
  • Long-term foster care – give a child a home throughout their formative years.

Pathway Care encourages all our carers to continually develop their skills and abilities. We provide expert foster carer training and support so you can become real experts, capable of caring for complex or specialised placements.

If there’s a particular area of fostering that interests you, such as caring for children with disabilities or remand foster care, we can offer you the specialised fostering training you require.

We see care as a career as well as a calling, so we do everything possible to help you grow in skill and confidence.

We know that our amazing carers need just as much support as the very children they foster. That’s why we’re always on hand for 24/7 support and advice.

Are you ready for a career in fostering? Great! Take our super simple quiz to see if you are suited to work in foster care.

If you have any further questions about foster care have a look at our ‘how to become a foster parent guide‘ or call Pathway Care on 0800 170 170 9.