Foster care is a protective arrangement in the interest of minors whose parents are for whatever reason temporarily unable to provide for their educational and developmental needs.
It is, fundamentally, an initiative of solidarity and hospitality whose success requires constant care and an ongoing support. For all the emotional and relational rewards it provides, in fact, it is an exceedingly complex and delicate procedure. This is why access to the program is conditional on a period of preliminary training and triggers a program of monitoring. Prospective foster parents need to familiarize themselves with the social, psychological, and juridical aspects of foster care and other forms of hospitality, under the guidance of professionals and experts providing insights from a wealth of different disciplines.
Foster care and out-of-home placement are substantially different from adoption: they are by definition provisional arrangements whose ultimate goal is to return the child to his or her birth family.
This section illustrates the different forms of foster care and out-of-home placement and introduces their protagonists, i.e. all the parts that are involved in the project and contribute to making foster care a pleasant and constructive experience for everybody.