Fostering is about looking after children in a safe and secure environment when they can't live with their own families.
Following incidents such as family difficulties, illness or drug related problems it is sometimes best for a child to be placed in a foster home.
Private fostering is when someone, who is not a close relative*, cares for another person's child (aged up to 16 (under 18, if disabled)) for 28 days or more. Although this is done by private arrangement, the parent and the carer has a legal obligation to notify the local authority where the child is going to live, so that the local authority can ensure that the child is being looked after properly.
Adoption is the legal process by which a child who cannot be brought up by their own parents legally becomes a full and permanent member of a new family and the adoptive parents gain full parental responsibility of the child. For information about adoption in York visit the City of York Council website.