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What is foster care?

Foster care is a way of providing a family life for children who cannot live with their own parents. All over the world, foster families open their hearts to children in need, and share their family life with them.

Foster care is often used to provide temporary care while parents get help sorting out problems, or to help children or young people through a difficult period in their lives. Often children will return home once the problems that caused them to come into foster care have been resolved and it is clear that their parents are able to look after them safely. Others may stay in long-term foster care, some may be adopted, and others will move on to live independently.

Foster care placements

Globally, there are a wide range of foster care placements. This ranges from short term foster care to long term foster care. However, there are also some unique placement types such as Parent and Child placements, which involves providing support and guidance to a young mother and/or father, helping them develop their parenting skills while offering care for their children.

Our aim

IFCO’s aim is to make the right of every child to live in a family a reality by promoting foster care worldwide. We encourage anybody thinking of fostering to find out more from their relevant bodies.

Read IFCO’s submission to the UN CRC:

IFCO Submission 2005
IFCO Submission 2004