Looking after children in care

Foster homes

Most children are looked after in foster homes.

Foster carers are people who have been specially chosen to care for other people's children in their own homes. They have special training and will care for you as if you were a member of their family. There may be other children in the foster home too.

They will also make sure that you stay in touch with your own family.

We have 4 types of foster carers for children in care:

  • therapeutic foster carers
  • supported lodgings carers
  • shared carers
  • 'general' carers

They will give you a home, either:

  • short term – where you can stay with them from anything from one day to 6 months
  • long term – where you can stay longer than 6 months

How long you stay with them depends on the plan for you to return home to your parents. We understand that in some cases, however, it might never be safe for some children and young people to return home.

There are many different types of foster families – some are single and others are couples with their own children. They come from many different backgrounds. Whatever type of foster carer you live with, they are there to help and give you support.

Living with new people can be difficult. Their routine may be different from what you are used to. They may eat at a different time or like different foods.

If you don't like a particular type of food or miss the food you used to eat, you should tell your carer. They will try their best to make sure that you eat healthy food that you enjoy.

When you move in you will have the chance to talk about these things and work out a routine, such as bedtimes, watching TV and going out.

Wherever possible, we will try to find you somewhere to live in Thurrock. Some young people may be placed quite far away, however, because they may need specialist care or because there aren't enough foster carers who live in Thurrock.