What does the term "FOOTING" mean in regards to foundation of a house?

Live in IL we got water in our basement after a terrible a storm and after some excavating of the ground discovered the foundation is deteriorating. Because the foundation is bad on only one side of the house the company we hired said the best thing to do is to build another foundation wall however I heard the term... show more Live in IL we got water in our basement after a terrible a storm and after some excavating of the ground discovered the foundation is deteriorating. Because the foundation is bad on only one side of the house the company we hired said the best thing to do is to build another foundation wall however I heard the term "footing" used alot and he said he didn't give our new foundation a footing. WHY and is that ok?
Update: I asked him why he didn't give our foundaiton a footing and he said because the house is old and that is the way they were built before.
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