If you are considering becoming a foster carer, you will be asked what type of fostering placement you would be willing to undertake. If you are unsure of the options, this is the list you need!
Short term foster care
As the name suggests, this type of foster placement is not a permanent solution. It is a placement in which you would look after a child or young person on a temporary basis, for example, while they wait for a match with adoptive parents.
Short term foster placement can last from a few days or weeks to years, which is what may happen in the case of children waiting for adoption.
Long-term foster care
Some children and young people don’t want to be adopted, or they may be too old; thus, long-term foster care becomes the permanent solution for them.
Many foster carers like the idea of offering long-term foster care because they can offer a stable, loving and nurturing home over the longer term. Many foster children remain part of the family into adulthood.
Some children need looking after on a fixed but short-term period. This is known as respite fostering and can be a way for you to get to know more about fostering and what it is really like to enjoy having a foster child in your home.
Children in need of respite care may have a parent who is ill and have no extended family to look after them.
Foster carers are also entitled to breaks and holidays so it may be that you who looks after their foster children while they take a break.
The type of foster placements that fostering agencies offer will vary. Some agencies offer specialist foster placements with a therapeutic approach. One such foster placement is called Restart Fostering.
Not all children in care live with foster families. Some live in children’s homes or other residential settings.
As they near the age of 18, they will need to acquire life skills and learn to live as a family unit, all important for forming future relationships but also managing their own home.
These young people can spend some living with a foster family, learning how to manage money, how to cook, how to be organised and manage their home.
Experienced foster carers may be trained to offer this kind of foster placement, as well as those carers who have specific experience such as youth work or working in a residential setting.
Sanctuary seeking placements
We have all seen and heard of the numbers of unaccompanied children entering the country, seeking asylum.
Scared and alone, these children with refugee status may have a minimal command of English. And who knows what horrors they have witnessed or been subjected to.
Foster carers are offering these children and young people a safe and nurturing family life but as with all other foster placements, you would need to be confident you can meet the needs of the children placed with you.
As part of the fostering application and approval process, you will be asked what type of fostering placement you think you could provide.
Some fostering agencies will opt for broad approval so that you can provide a range of different placement options to fulfill the needs of a child.
Some foster carers prefer to be specific as they feel this suits them better. You may want to consider the room you have available and how many children this means you could foster at any one time.
Your own life experiences and preferences are important too. For example, you may feel more comfortable offering a family home to children under 10 or are willing to foster a sibling group in the long-term.
Effectively, different foster children have different needs. How do you think you could best meet these needs as a foster carer?
Active Care Solutions believe that every child deserves the best start in life. Are you the foster carer who could make a difference?