Become a foster family

What is foster care?
Full-time placement of a child in a foster family.

A foster family offers a stable and safe place for children who, for whatever reason, are not currently able to live with their parents. Often it is a judge who takes the decision to place a child with a foster family, and sometimes the parents themselves want this care for their child. The length of a child's stay in foster care can be difficult to predict, as even if circumstances are taken into account, children may stay in foster care longer than expected.

Even taking all circumstances into account, children may stay in foster care longer than expected, often beyond the age of 18 when they become independent.


Support for both the foster family and the original family

It is important that we respect each child's relationship with their parents. As carers and co-caregivers, we do our utmost to maintain physical contact through in-person visits. Discussions between parents, foster parents and carers help to overcome problems that might arise, as well as finding consistent ways for bringing up each foster child.


What does being a foster child entail?

Children often react both emotionally and physically to this extraordinary situation. They need to be supported with understanding and patience. They need time in which they can feel safe as they familiarise themselves with the new situation. It is not uncommon for a child to feel uncertain about their future, especially if they has experienced frequent disappointment. Many feel insecure because they do not know what is expected of them.

Foster parents need to be prepared for a child’s behaviour and attitudes to have been shaped by their life experiences, and that they might find it difficult to make swift changes.


Who can become a foster family?

There is no such thing as a typical foster family. People with very different personalities and life situations perform the role well. We are looking for families who are happy to provide a warm and protective home for children. They will be aware of their own limitations and insecurities, and be willing to learn from each other's experiences and be open to talking about the challenges and emotions they face.


Prerequisites include:

  • Warmth: a child needs to feel welcome, wanted, cared for and 'safe'.
    Tolerance: foster children and their parents want to be accepted as they are, not as we would like them to be.
  • Patience: children often need a long time to build trust.
  • Reasonableness: parenting also means being able to make considered decisions.
  • Empathy: towards the child and the biological parents.
  • Skills: willingness to learn and therefore to deal with trauma in a concrete fashion to provide the best possible care for the child.


We encourage those considering this step to ask themselves the following questions:

  • Are we prepared to encourage contact with the child's parents?
  • Could we cope if our fostered child does not accept to be separated from their parents, takes time to make this adaptation?
  • Are we prepared for a foster child potentially having very different needs from those of our own children?
  • Do we want to share educational responsibility with social services and the parents?
  • Are we willing to reintegrate our foster child into their family of origin if they regain personal stability? We might have grown to love the child and feel hurt by this separation.

If you wish to apply, please call us: 32 90 03 – 1