Looked after children

Not every child has a warm, loving, stable home. Through no fault of their own, many children and young people face neglect, violence, abuse and chaotic surroundings. This can affect every aspect of their life, from progress at school to their ability to form trust and friendships.

Foster care provides a safe, secure and stable environment for these young people. Foster carers provide care to children and young people for a few days, weeks, months or even years.

The animation above illustrates the journey of two children through care with our foster carers.






Barnardo's has over 100 years' experience of placing children with families. We help foster carers by providing them with 24 hour support, training and support groups. We also support adoptive parents by providing counselling and therapy to help them create a successful attachment with their child.

Find out more about how we find new families to welcome defenceless children

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Emergency numbers

If you think that a child is in immediate danger please dial 999. Alternatively please contact your local authority social care department, or the NSPCC 24 hour child protection helpline listed below.

If you are a child who needs help, please call Childline on 0800 11 11.

Alternatively, please call 0808 800 5000 to discuss your concerns with the NSPCC 24 Hour Child Protection Helpline.

If you are concerned about a Barnardo's member of staff, volunteer or carer please call the relevant national or regional office and speak to a Barnardo's senior manager or children's services representative.