Every foster child is different and that means to meet their needs, there must be a range of fostering placements that social workers and fostering agencies can tap into.
Foster carers don’t offer every kind of foster placement. Foster families decide as part of the application process which type of placement they can offer, as well as sometimes specifying ages and gender of the children too.
The more variety and diversity of placements a foster care agency has, the more it can meet the needs of the children who need a foster family.
Type of fostering placements
There are numerous models of fostering placements, including;
As the name suggests, this is a temporary foster care placement. It could be a few days, weeks, months or sometimes years but during this time, the agency will be working hard with the child and their family to decide on what is best for the future. Offering this kind of fostering placement may a lot of contact with the child’s birth family.
This means looking after a child on a permanent basis, usually until they reach adulthood. Some children don’t want to be adopted, and so will be permanently fostered instead.
This is when a fostered child may stay with another family while their carer takes a short break. It is also offered in cases where a child needs some time away from their birth family too, such as when they are a carer for their own parent.
Parent and child fostering
This is a specialist type of placement offered to a young parent and their child. They may need to extra support and care with the foster carer offering parental advice and guidance.
A young offender, considered at risk of re-offending if they return to their families or don’t have the right kind of support, can be placed with foster carers. This is a highly specialised fostering placement and one in which foster carers are trained and experienced in working with young offenders.
Not all children in care live with foster families. Sometimes, to meet their needs or when there are not enough foster carers, children and young people will live in children’s homes.
Transition fostering is where a young person will live with a family and given support to make the transition to living in a family environment. Again, this is a specialised fostering placement offered by trained and specialist foster carers.
The number of unaccompanied children entering the UK is increasing. Vulnerable, alone, scared, hiding untold horrors and in an alien country, these children need a level of support that trained foster carers offer. It also helps if there is a shared culture or language.
Emergency fostering care
Fostering placements usually begin with an introduction but there are times when this can’t happen because a child or a group of siblings have been taking into care with no more than a few hours’ notice.
Foster carers make a difference every day to a vulnerable child. Could you?
Fostering People regularly hold events across the country to recruit new foster carers from all backgrounds who are willing to meet the needs of the looked after child.