Different types of fostering
Fostering involves different tasks dependent upon the needs of the children and young people concerned. We aim to match you with children and young people who will benefit most from the skills and environment that you have to offer. It is important that you have an idea of the types of children you are comfortable caring for, considering your own and your family’s circumstances and views.
To this end we will discuss with you the sort of fostering placements that are required, the issues you may face and the needs of children and young people you may care for. This will happen both at the enquiry stage and then again during the assessment.
Things you may need to consider include:
- Which age range would be best suited to your family.
- Which length of placement would be preferred
- Whether you have space for one child or more – it is common for siblings to need to be placed together.
- What type of behaviour and experience you can manage
- Are you able to care for a child from different religions or ethnic backgrounds
Any of the below placement types may be needed the same day. Whatever type of fostering best fits you and your family; flexibility is a crucial requirement to be able to provide the support needed by a child or young person at their time of need
|Often children need a foster home with no planning or preparation; to provide somewhere safe to stay immediately. This can happen at any time of the day or night; and last for differing periods of time depending on the needs of the children. Emergency care is always at short notice and flexibility is needed.
|Sometimes there may have to be some assessment before plans can be made for the child/children. They will need to remain with foster carers whilst this is carried out and either return to their own family, move to a long term placement or an adoptive family is found. This may take weeks or months and throughout this time the child/children will continue to have contact with their parents and perhaps other family members, which may take place several times a week.
found. This may take weeks or months and throughout this time the child/children will continue to have contact with their parents and perhaps other family members, which may take place several times a week.
|For many reasons long term foster care is needed when children cannot return to their birth families and adoption is not considered appropriate. These placements are likely to be on going for 12 months or more. Children’s long-term needs are ideally met in a suitable family of the same race, religion, language, and culture as themselves
|A child is placed with you for a few days or weeks; to give ‘birth family’ or other carers a short break from caring for a child or young person.
PARENT AND BABY
|Parent and child placements offer a home to a baby or young child together with its parent (mother and/or father). The aim of this is to provide a safe, family-based environment for a child or young person who has had a baby before or whilst being cared for by a foster carer; to provide parenting support and guidance. These placements can be short or long term.
UNACCOMPANIED CHILD OR YOUNG PERSON
|An unaccompanied child or young person is under 18 and is separated from parents/family; outside their country of origin to seek asylum in the UK; usually applying for asylum in his/her own right. They are often from places such as Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan or the African continent. Often little is known about their background, their journey to the UK or the situations they may have witnessed or experienced. For most English is not their first language and so communication is difficult.
|These enable brothers and sisters to continue living together in the same foster carer household. A sibling group can range between 2 to 5 children and despite the challenges of meeting the children’s collective and individual needs, fostering siblings is hugely rewarding.