The children and young people who need to live with a foster family come from all walks of life and are of all ages, from babies through to teenagers.

They are likely to have experienced difficult and sad times in their lives before fostering.

What they all have in common is that they all need a secure, stable and loving home.

Older children (including teenagers)

Caring for any teenager has its ups and downs but for a young person who has had a distressing and unsettled childhood the teenage years may be especially difficult.

Teenage years are when young people are finding their feet so, although it is challenging, foster carers can have a vital role in helping young people to prepare for adult life and develop confidence in themselves.

Children in sibling groups

Going to live with a new foster family can be very scary, but keeping brothers and sisters together is one less thing for them to worry about.

That is why we need foster carers who have the space to care for more than one child.

Children and young people on a long-term basis

Most children and young people who are fostered will return to their birth families. However, if this is not possible, some children and young people require foster carers to look after them until they reach adulthood or independence.

Children with disabilities

Some children and young people have physical or learning disabilities or a combination of special needs.

That is why we need foster carers with special skills and experience to care for children and young people needing that extra little bit of help.

Children from ethnic minorities

Oldham Fostering Service tries to place children in families that match, as closely as possible, their racial, religious, cultural and linguistic background.

That is why we require foster carers from all parts of the community, especially Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Indian foster carers.

Young parents and their babies

Becoming a parent at an early age or when you have not had a good experience of being parented yourself can be completely overwhelming.

We need foster carers who are able to support the young parent to develop the maturity and skills they need to look after their baby, helping to build their confidence and hopefully become good parents and live independently.