Family enjoying ice cream
Family enjoying ice cream

common questions

We're dedicated to working with foster families to make a difference to children in Denbighshire. But what is fostering exactly and how does it work? These are questions we're asked all the time. 

Fostering means something different to every child we care for. There are different types of fostering and different roles carers can play. Each one makes a huge, life-long impact.

Find out more about what we do, and how you can join us.

what is fostering?

what is fostering?

Fostering means accepting a child as part of your family when they have to be away from their own. It could be for a night, a month, a year or several years. At the heart of any foster placement is a dedication to make a difference – to change the course of a child's life.

Foster carers mean a fresh start and a new family, but this doesn't mean erasing the past – the important bonds foster children have with their biological families are maintained, too.

Preserving friendships, familiar places and everything that matters to the child is central to what we do. That's why we will always prioritise placing children in their local community, if it's the right thing for them.

As a local foster carer you have an important role: to make sure the child feels safe, supported and happy. Our role is to support you, in every way we can.

the typical foster family...doesn't exist

We celebrate the diversity and uniqueness of our foster families. There’s no typical foster family – the truth is, fostering is about meeting the individual needs of each child in our care. Each child needs something different. That's why, if you decide to become a foster carer your circumstances can't be compared to anyone else's. Your story is what matters most.

Find out more about the different kinds of fostering.

what is the difference between fostering and adoption?

what is the difference between fostering and adoption?

Foster care and adoption might be fundamentally different, but they share some common values. Kindness. Compassion. Stability. A safe harbour, when it's needed most.

the legal definition

The way fostering and adoption differ is even clearer when you look at the legal definition. With adoption, you become the legal parent of that child. You have full responsibility for them, they take your name, they are a legal part of your family.

With fostering, the child remains the legal responsibility of the Local Authority and you work together, sometimes with their biological family too. As a foster carer, you care for and parent that child on a short, medium or long term basis.

what's the role of a foster carer?

what's the role of a foster carer?

As a foster carer, you're part of a team. We simply can't do what's best for local children without foster carers, and the truth is, every carer's role is unique.

It comes down to compassion and care every day, for as long as the child is with you. They need someone to listen to them. To believe in them. As a foster carer, that someone is you.

the day-to-day

When it gets down to it, a foster carer's role is to be there. To be steady and dependable. It's something that becomes second nature – with a team around you, with support and training, you become the person who’s there. The person who cares. It could be for a day, a month or longer. And though each foster family starts the same way, the memories you make will be unique to you.

how long does it take to become a foster carer?

how long does it take to become a foster carer?

Everyone’s journey is different. Fostering is a decision to make a real difference to the lives of children in your community. It might take a little while to get you there, but the first step is the most powerful.

what can I expect?

From our first talk to your official green light, the process of becoming a foster carer can take up to six months. Every step of the way, we'll be with you.

We’ll get to know you and your family. Find out what you’re passionate about, and most importantly, who you are. It's not just your home and your community that matter to us. We care about you as an individual. We work to match you with foster children who’ll fit into your family and your way of life. To make the best matches – and build the best possible futures – we need to know everything that we can.

how do you become a foster carer?

how do you become a foster carer?

It all starts with this. A message. An email. A phone call.

Foster Wales is the national network of Local Authority fostering teams across Wales. We’re not a distant organisation that doesn't understand your world, we’re a collection of dedicated experts from your community. So, if you’re asking how to get into foster care, the answer is simple. Get in touch with your local Foster Wales team and we'll guide you every step of the way.

next steps

Once you take that first important step, we'll guide you through the rest of the process. At the start, it's all about getting to know you.

who needs fostering?

who needs fostering?

There’s no typical foster child. There’s no typical foster family, either.

Each child in our care has their own passions and personality. They’ve come from a unique set of circumstances, which have shaped their lives so far. We're here to make sure their futures are different. Brighter.

our foster children

From babies to teenagers, from brothers and sisters to young mums and dads, there are children across Wales right now who need that chance. That opportunity, to step onto a new path. That’s where foster carers can help.

Every foster family is different. Some welcome siblings together, others care for teenagers, and there are also foster parents who specialise in caring for children with unique needs. All sorts of children need foster care. Our role is to support each one. To find the family that’s right for them.


We believe in staying local, and staying together. Maintaining sibling bonds is important to children, so it’s important to us too, and that’s why matching siblings with a foster family, together, is a priority. Building better futures is often about making the most of the important bonds that already exist, as well as forging new ones.


Caring for a teenager means listening, understanding, helping to make sense of the world – and their place in it. It’s about providing stability and security, from childhood and on towards adulthood.

what is fostering like?

what is fostering like?

Fostering is a commitment, and there's nothing else quite like it. There will be times to cherish. Times when you can really see the difference you make. If there are also tough times, you’ll have our support to guide you through.

It could be for one night, two weeks, or maybe longer. But fostering will surprise you. It will challenge you. It will reward you.

Find out what fostering is really like: read our fostering success stories.

who decides which children I foster?

who decides which children I foster?

You're unique, with your own skills and strengths, and the way your foster family will look is unique too.

matches – how it works

We work with you to match children with the right home.

It's about listening to you, getting to know you, getting to know your family, your life, your home. We can then match you with the foster child who is the best fit for your skills and circumstances.

We care about making the best matches. And that’s because it's simple: better matches mean better outcomes.

what training will I receive?

what training will I receive?

Just by thinking about it, you've got the basics to become a great foster carer. Compassion. Dedication. Curiosity.

We take the time and offer the expertise to help you build on those basics, to give you all the tools you will need.

what you'll learn

You’ll learn how we work collectively, the rules that help guide what we do, and how to be the best you can be. With training courses and qualifications, you'll never feel like you're standing still.

when you'll learn

We’re flexible, and that includes our learning and development framework. You’ll have access to varied learning opportunities at times that suit you. It’s not about ticking a box, it’s about growing every day. Some skills are general, some are more specifically suited to a particular child. We'll give you whatever training and support you need, whenever you need it.

will I be paid as a foster carer?

will I be paid as a foster carer?

Allowances might not be the first thing you consider with fostering, but they're part of how we make sure you can offer the best possible support as a foster carer.


You'll receive an allowance for every foster child in your care, and as a foster parent you'll also receive an allowance too. It's about taking care of the everyday, as well as helping create more special memories.

other support

There are other benefits besides financial support which will enrich your fostering journey. We look at the full picture: emotional support, learning opportunities and expert guidance too.

It's not just our time and expertise we give. As a not-for-profit, all our funding goes towards supporting the children in our care and making the foster experience the best it can be. That means 360-degree support. We’re here for you, in any way you need us.

Take a look at our support and rewards to find out exactly what fostering with Foster Wales could mean for you.

how will my choice to foster affect my family?

how will my choice to foster affect my family?

Becoming a foster parent is a choice you make with your loved ones. It's about growing your family unit by accepting children into your home. Supporting them. Caring for them. Your family are involved at every step and offer this support and care too. Because fostering is about connection and community. It’s not something you do on your own – you’re in it together, and we'll be with you every step of the way. The support, training and rewards we offer in return are extended to every member of your household.

children who foster

Lots of foster families are made up of both adults and children, who learn and grow from having foster siblings. It's all about learning how to be there for one another. How to listen. How to care.