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Where will I live?

Where you will live depends on your individual situation and what is happening in your life.

Foster Care

Usually, Social Care will try to move you to live with a family called a foster family, or foster carer to live as a part of their family. 

Foster carers and foster families are trained to look after children and young people that can’t live with their family.  All foster carer’s are different and come from all different backgrounds – black, white or mixed families.  You might live with a single carer, a married couple or they may have children of their own. 

We will always do our best to make sure you live with a foster carer that you will get along with, and who will be able to understand you and what you need while they look after you.  Your foster carer will help you to keep in touch with your family and friends, and will make sure that you are safe and well cared for. 

All foster carers have been through checks by the police and Social Care to make sure that they will be able to care for you properly.  They are reviewed every year to make sure that they are doing their job properly.  You can have your say about the way that they are looking after you.

Living with family or a family friend

Some children and young people who are looked after live with an extended family member or family friend who takes responsibility for looking after you.  This is called kinship care.  You will still have a Social Worker who will visit you regularly to make sure you are safe and happy.

Residential Care

Some children and young people live in children’s home.  We call this residential care.  If you live in residential care you will live in a house where there are other children and young people both boys and girls who are also looked after.  There will be workers in the house 24 hours a day and they will be there to look after you. 
You will have a key worker from the house who will meet with you on your own every week to make sure you are okay.  They will be there to help you with your course work, and to keep you safe.  Some of these residential homes are specialist, which means that you will have some extra support from the workers.  If you have a disability or extra needs, these homes will be able to give you the time you need. 

Boarding School

Some children and young people looked after live in a boarding school. This is where you will live and receive schooling at the same place with other children and workers.  The workers there are responsible for looking after you.

Secure accommodation

Some young people looked after might live in Secure accommodation.  Young People only move to secure accommodation when there is a very serious risk of harm to themselves or to other people.  Social Care will always try to help young people to deal with any issues before moving any young people into secure accommodation.


Moving into a new home can be a very stressful time.  We hope that you will feel comfortable, safe and happy where you are living.  If you are moving into a new home (placement) here are some ideas of what you can do to make it easier:

  • Think about any questions you might have about where you are moving – you could write these down.  These might be about your bedroom, the food you will eat, pocket money, school, when you will see your family and any other things that you might want to know about.
  • If you are not happy or are worried about something – please tell someone you trust.  No-one will be cross with you. 

What happens if I don’t tell my carer/key worker where I am?

Sometimes it can feel really tough being in care.  It’s not easy moving to live with new people and being away from family, friends and things that you are used to.  Sometimes you might prefer to spend time with your friends, or might find it hard spending time in your new home.  Whatever the reasons – it’s always good to try to talk to someone you trust – and to let the person or people caring for you know where you are.  Sometimes you might need time away – but we need to make sure that you are safe.  You will not be in trouble – it is best to just let someone know where you are.  This is what any parents would expect from their children too.

  • Contact your social worker, duty social worker or emergency duty team, teacher or any other adult that you trust
  • Contact the police
  • Contact your foster carer

If you don’t tell anyone where you are, we will be worried about you.  We will have to report you as missing.  Why?  Because we are responsible for your safety and need to make sure you are okay.  If you do go out without permission, or do not return to where you are living, your carer or key worker will have to inform Social Care and sometimes the police (if they are worried about your safety).

If you are finding things hard, please talk to a trusted adult so that we can help you.