Fostering answers many different needs which is why fostering agencies and local authorities require a range of foster placements to choose from. But what are they and what type of fostering placement could you offer?
From a few nights stay to a permanent fostering solution, no two children being looked after have the same needs. There are some children with very specific needs, such as disability, whereas other children need a therapeutic approach.
For potential foster carers, understanding what they could offer is important. Every contribution of a foster family is valuable which is why foster care agencies look for a wide variety of carers and placements.
The types of fostering placements
Short term foster placements
This is where a foster carer provides a temporary home for a child or young person as their parents may be unable to look after them.
Not the same as an emergency foster placement, these placements are planned in many cases and thus, may be something a foster carer could provide if they want to make a difference but may still be working alongside fostering.
Long-term foster placements
If you want to open your life, heart and home to a child from childhood to adulthood, then offering a long term foster placement is what you should consider.
Many foster families enjoy this type of placement because they feel they not only make a positive difference to a child, but they become part of their family beyond the age of 18.
Step down fostering placements
The transition from residential care to adulthood is a tough one. As such, foster carers who offer step down fostering placements work with young people who will soon be entering life beyond care.
Intense but rewarding, these foster carers will mentor young people in their care with specific life skills.
Parent and child foster placements
You know how tough being a parent can be. Now imagine doing it all on your own, with no real help or support, or a good parenting role model to copy.
Do you have the ability to mentor, support and help somyoung parents to offer their baby a safe, nurturing environment? Can you do so without judgement but with patience and tact?
A parent and child foster placement allow an experienced and trained foster carer to help the young parent to learn and practice the important life skill of being a parent.
Keeping brothers and sisters together is important to continue family connections. However, it takes a lot of commitment to take on a group of siblings but if you enjoy a home full of laughter and drama, this will be the placement that will offer this and more!
Foster placement for disabled children
This kind of placement is short term in some cases, offering a home from home for children with physical, learning or sensory disabilities. Like all other fostering placements, you will receive training and a high level of support.
This type of fostering placement is an alternative to custody for children who are charged with an offence and are awaiting trial.
People with experience of working with young offenders and young people are drawn to this type of fostering placement, able to offer the guidance and support that a young person needs in this kind of situation.
Becoming a foster carer
Many people come to fostering unsure of what kind of fostering placement they can offer or would be most suited to them.
And this is where foster care training comes in. It provides foster carers with the opportunity to explore different fostering placements, what is needed and so on. Why don’t you explore foster care further?
Fostering Care Associates are a long-established fostering agency, well known for supporting its foster carers with an extensive package of training and support. Currently recruiting, why not see what you could offer?