Hi! I’m Parker Penguin and I’m here to tell you what foster care is.
This page contains lots of things you might need to know while you are in foster care.
If you need any help reading or understanding it then please let your foster carers or social worker know and they will be happy to help you out.
Foster carers are special people who have been carefully chosen to look after children who cannot live at home and provide them with a safe, loving home.
Children live with foster carers for all sorts of reasons, but it’s not because of anything you have done.
Every foster family is different. You may have two grown ups looking after you or you may have one. There may be other children living with them too.
This is my foster family, Paula and Percy Penguin and their daughter Piper.
Every child and every foster family has their own social worker and it is their job to make sure you are looked after properly. You should always think of them as someone who is there to help you.
While you live with your foster carers, there will be meetings called ‘reviews’, where all the important grown-ups in your life will get together and make a care plan for you.
Your wishes and feelings are very important. Make sure you let your foster carer or social worker know what you would like to happen and how you are feeling.
Tell your social worker if there is anything in the plan you don’t like as they may be able to change this. If you ever feel worried about your future, tell your foster carers or social worker and they will do everything they can to help.
School is very important because it’s where you learn about subjects, growing up, making new friends, and allows you to take part in activities and hobbies after school.
If you are already at school, we will try to work out if it is best for you to move to a new school or stay at your old one.
Your teacher will know that you have gone to live with a foster carer, but it is your choice if you want to tell other people.
Your foster carers and social worker understand how important your family might be to you so will speak with you about when you can see them and how often. Tell them who you want to see so they can try and make sure this happens.
Every child in foster care has an Independent Reviewing Officer. It is their job to make sure you are happy and feel you have been listened to.
Another person who can help you is called an ‘Advocate’. Their job is to help you tell people how you feel. You can ask them to go to meetings for you, and let everyone at that meeting know how you feel and what you are thinking.
Moving in with a new family is not easy, but your social worker and foster carers want to make sure you are in a safe, caring and happy home.
There will probably be lots of questions you’d like answers to and your foster carers and social workers will do their best to answer them.
You should take the opportunity to right down the name, telephone number and email address of your social worker and keep it somewhere safe.
Whatever the question, don’t ever be afraid to ask! Your carers will not mind if you ask them all sorts of things.
General advice and getting an advocate
24 hour helpline for children in distress.
0800 1111 (freephone)
Ask questions through the website at:
The national charity for children in care.
0800 0232033 (freephone)
A national charity providing advice and support to children in care.
0808 800 5792 (freephone)
National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS)
A national charity providing advocacy and legal representation to children.
0808 8081001 (freephone)
Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills)
0300 123 1231
The Children’s Commissioner for England
020 7783 8330