Bath & North East Somerset is looking for families and individuals to become part of its new Fostering Families initiative. Fostering Families is designed to support families who are struggling, so that they thrive and develop and look after their children at home.

When it is not possible to avoid foster care for children there is a continued need for foster carers.

Among the groups with the greatest need for foster carers is families who can have teenagers to live with them, as well as carers for sibling groups of two or more children, and unaccompanied asylum seeking children and young people.

When asked about the reasons why carers have stepped into the role, local foster parents’ replied –

It’s a way to make a positive impact on a child who hasn’t had a great start in life.

To provide them with a loving caring family.

To be a good role model and to teach children new skills and independence.

To provide support and to be a shoulder to cry on.

When it comes to the rewards and challenges of being a foster carer, the answers included –

The rewards are seeing the impact and influence you may have had on a child.

When they open up and talk to you about their emotions and feelings this can be both rewarding and a challenge.

To have a hug from them and to see them bonding with other extended family members as they become comfortable.

The challenges include picking up the pieces after a knock back at college or school.”

Experiencing the worry when a child runs away from home – but the support the council provide is amazing and they help you every step of the way.”

“We have found it really rewarding fostering a teenager,” said a local foster carer for a teenager. “It is fantastic how they have interacted with our younger daughter as she herself becomes a teenager. We have great chats about what’s going on in the world like over Black Lives Matter and Covid-19. It’s so rewarding to help a teenager become an adult.”

““It’s really important to keep siblings together as it can be the most enduring relationship that any of us can have,” added a carer of siblings. “They play together and can help each other settle. There are challenges, as they can vie for our attention, but even that is an important experience for them to have.”

So who can be a foster carer?

·         You must be 21 or over, but there is no upper age limit.

·         You must have a spare room.

·         You need to be a British citizen or permanently staying in the U.K.

·         You need to have flexibility at work if you will be the primary carer.

·         You will need to be reasonably fit – physically and emotionally.

·         You can be of any religion or from any cultural background.

·         Your relationship status or sexuality is not a barrier to becoming a foster carer.

If you would like to explore fostering or Fostering Families (where a spare room is not needed) the Family Placement Team would love to hear from you. You can complete a quiz about fostering and gain more information by visiting:

To find out more about fostering, go to: https://fostering.bathnes.gov.uk/ or call 01225 394949