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What is fostering?

Little boy in rain coat

​​​Fostering is a way of caring for other people's children and young people away from their family home.

As all children are different, the reasons why they need to be with foster carers can be different. Here are some examples.

  • A child needs somewhere to go at the weekend when their parent is in hospital 
  • A short-term placement is needed for a child when their family is in difficulty
  • A more permanent placement is needed, supporting the child onto independence

Fostering can be challenging and demanding but it can also be enjoyable and extremely rewarding. A foster carer's role is to work alongside the local authority in supporting the child to achieve their full potential in a safe, secure and stable home - this can be on a respite, short-term or long-term basis.

This is fostering - a poem by our fostering team

Our lovely staff in our fostering team have written and performed their own poem about what fostering is. "It's ordinary people doing extraordinary things".

Watch this is fostering video on YouTube (1min 51secs)

Fostering for the council rather than a private agency

We are a not-for-profit organisation and every penny we spend in our fostering service goes on supporting our cared for children and their foster families. Fostering with us has many benefits.

  • We're local. This means you won't need to travel far for training, meetings, family time or school trips.
  • You'll get a dedicated social worker to support you.
  • You'll have access to our foster carer support groups and celebration events.
  • We always go to our foster carers first for placements meaning you’re more likely to have no gaps in placement.
  • You can get 24-hour over the phone support.
  • You'll have access to the council’s employee assistance programme for facilities like counselling, should you ever need it.

We've created a video explaining the difference between fostering with us and with a private agency.

Watch why you should foster for a local agency on YouTube (2mins 27secs)

Watch what our foster carers say

Our priority is always about getting the right match to meet the needs of both the child and the carer. See what some of our foster carers say in our 3 words YouTube video.


 Watch the 3 words video on YouTube (2mins 36secs)

The difference between fostering and adoption

Fostering: Foster carers provide the day-to-day care and support to a child or young person in their home. However the child usually remains the legal responsibility of the local authority.

Adoption: This means you become the legal parent to the child. Once you adopt you assume all responsibility for the child. However, adoptive parents, adoptive children and birth relatives can call upon the local authority for help and support as and when needed.

Make a fostering enquiry today


0300 303 1000

Phone: Monday-Friday 9am-5pm.

Find the Fostering Team on a map

Fostering Team
Fashion Corner
57-59 Drake Street
Rochdale OL16 1PA

Make a fostering enquiry