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Caring for Children

Provided by the Children's Services Department

Caring for Children

Wherever possible it is best for children to be brought up by their own parents. Hampshire Children’s Services will therefore work with families to enable children to stay safely at home with their parents.

Where this is not possible and the child has to be cared for away from home, there are a number of different options available, or routes through care, depending upon individual circumstances.

  • Options may be available within:


    • Adoption - Adoption is a way of providing a new family for children who cannot live with and be brought up by their birth parents.


    • Fostering - This is a way of providing family life for children who cannot live with their birth parents, whilst plans are made for their future. This may be to return to their birth family, be adopted or remain in long-term foster care.

    • Short break caring - opportunities for foster carers to support children for short periods of time. Includes Family Link - a scheme matching foster carers, disabled children and their families.

  • Other ways to secure a child's future:

    • Special Guardianship - The purpose of the order is to give the child the security of a permanent home until the age of 18 and beyond. It is a court order which gives parental responsibility to the person who is caring for the child.

    • Residence Order - An order which states who the child will live with and which gives that person parental responsibility so that they can make all the day to day decisions concerning that child, subject to certain restrictions.

    Is somebody else's child staying with you for a while? If so please read about:

    • Family and Friends Care - This is when close relatives of a child who has been involved with Children's Services come forward to care for that child.

    • Private Fostering - An arrangement made by parents for their child to live with someone who is not a close relation, and the child remains with that person for 28 days or more.

  • For further information also see: