At CANW we have a well established foster care service, which has successfully been delivering high quality placements for looked after children and young people since 2001. Fostering allows children and young people who are unable to live with their own parent(s) the opportunity to thrive in a secure and loving home.

The demand for foster care placements is rapidly growing and we are continually extending and developing our service to provide placements for children and young people.

If you would like to speak to someone about fostering : call 0800 634 5300 or email



We believe that anyone has the potential to be a foster carer.

Fostering isn’t about whether you’re married, single, lesbian, gay, heterosexual, divorced or co-habiting. It isn’t about the colour of your skin or religious beliefs. It isn’t about whether you own or rent your home or whether you already have children. Fostering is about being who you are and being able to respond to a child’s individual needs and help them to thrive.

You don’t need to have specific qualifications to become a foster carer – your life experiences, parenting skills, work with young people and your values are just as important.

However, the following basic requirements are very important in order for us to ensure the safety and security of any child or young person in our care:

  • You must have a spare bedroom at the time of your application. If you are having an extension or converting the attic, this work should be completed before the application process begins.
  • You must consent to certain checks being carried out in order to ensure the safety of children and young people in your care, these including a CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) Enhanced Check.
  • If you have ever been convicted of particular offences such as; violence or offences against children you will not be able to foster. Other minor offences may not affect your application to foster as long as you disclose any convictions during the assessment process. If you do not disclose an offence which later comes to light, CANW will be unable to proceed with your application.
  • It is important that you are open and honest. The assessment process is very thorough and you will be asked about many different areas of your life.
  • There is no upper age limit to becoming a foster carer as long as you are considered to be fit and healthy you should apply.
  • Applicants must however be over the age of 21.
  • You must have a good level of spoken and written English


There are many types of fostering that you might wish to consider including:

  • General Placements
  • Sibling groups (brothers and/or sisters who need to be placed together)
  • Teenagers
  • Children with a Disability
  • Mother and Baby

Task Centred
Task centred foster carers provide short term placements for children and young people until plans for their future have been agreed. The duration of these placements can be from a few days to a few years.

Long Term
These placements are for children and young people who are unable to return home and for whom adoption is not an option. The foster carer(s) will care for the child/young person up to and into independence.

These placements can be made with little warning and the duration of the placement may be undecided. This could be if a child needs to be found a place of safety in a crisis situation.

Sometimes children and young people get into trouble with the Police and need to be placed in foster care. These placements provide a stable environment and help support a young person through the court process.

Short Breaks/Respite
This is designed to support children within their birth families or foster families with whom they are living. This can be anything from an overnight stay to regular weekends or school holidays.

Teen Scheme
Foster carers can continue to work whilst caring for young people aged 11-17 years on this specific scheme. Foster carers are expected to be able to collect young people from school and be available during school holidays, periods of sickness (or to make and fund suitable alternative arrangements such as: after school club; registered child care).


Its a fine line between being outstanding and needing to make improvements. Whilst at CANW were very disappointed to lose our outstanding fostering status from the recent Ofsted inspection. The inspectors found that the experience of carers and children placed with our foster carers was good and that the children placed achieved good outcomes, in addition the participation of young people in our service was commended. However they found that we had some areas that we needed to develop around the paperwork we provide within the service to make sure that all those using our service were well informed, for example we had not included the Ofsted address on our information leaflet for young people, and that we needed to improve some of the records and monitoring that we kept.

We take these observations very seriously and have already addressed most of the concerns Ofsted raised with us, we have agreed with the inspectors that all issues will be fully addressed by the end of September. We are working closely with the inspectors and keeping them informed of our progress. The inspectors have commented that they consider the agency is very open and able to quickly address the challenges that were found. We have met with our foster carers, staff and informed the children using our service and are very confident that we will learn from this and continuously strengthen our service.

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