Types of fostering
Fostering happens when a child goes to live with a foster carer because they cannot live with their own family at a particular point in time.
Whatever the reasons for this, it’s a difficult time for them, so they need a stable home and plenty of support, care and understanding.
It could be for just a few days, a few months, or even longer. That’s why there are different types of fostering to match the different needs of children with the different things that carers can offer.
The types of foster care we offer at Foster for Staffordshire range from short break to long-term care, as well as more specialised types of foster care such as Disability short break fostering.
The type of fostering we provide varies from child to child, depending on the needs of each individual child or young person.
If you’re thinking of becoming a foster carer and you’re not aware of the different types of fostering that are available, then this is a great place for you to start.
Short term fostering
Short term (task centred) fostering is where you work towards a goal within a set time period. Short term fostering helps prepare children to return to their own family, to an adoptive family or long term foster carers, or helping older children to get ready for living independently.
Fostering a baby
The aim of fostering a baby is to ensure a child is looked after until they can either return home to their parents or extended family members, move into long term fostering, or onto adoption.
To be able to foster a baby you need to be available to care for them full-time and also be able to work with birth parents and professionals who are involved in the care of the child.
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Short break fostering
Sometimes short break fostering is required for foster children, which involves providing regular short stays for a child.
You need to be able to commit to providing regular short stays for up to 2 years for a child who is in foster care, who still lives with their birth family or who has been adopted.
You would look after a child during the day, overnight, at the weekend or in the school holidays.
Long term fostering
Long term fostering is a type of fostering that involves caring for children who cannot return to their families and for whom adoption isn’t appropriate.
The child in need of long term fostering will normally be aged between 7–18 years of age, and you could foster them for a few years, or usually until they either return home or become independent.
Supported lodgings is an alternative to typical foster care and offers you a great opportunity if you want to continue to work and support a vulnerable young person. Supported lodgings offers young people aged 16-19 the opportunity to live in a family environment where they are given more independence.
You need to be able to offer them a stable home environment, support them to develop practical skills and gain emotional stability which is all needed to make the transition to independent living.
The transition into adulthood can be tough even under the best of circumstances, but for our children it’s even harder. There are so many hormonal and physical changes taking place. Concerns about appearance, peer pressure, and what’s going to happen to them in the future add to the pressure.
Across Staffordshire, we need foster carers for children of all ages, but our greatest need is for foster carers for teenagers aged 13 to 17. Fostering a teenger is challenging, but seeing them achieve their goals and knowing that you have supported them is extremely rewarding.
Disability short break fostering
Disability short break fostering is a type of foster care that supports children who have a disability and their family. If you were to help Foster for Staffordshire with disability short break fostering, you would look after a child for a short break, maybe overnight or for a weekend or in the school holidays.
Resilience foster care
Resilience foster care provides long term care for young people aged 10-18 years who currently live in residential care. As a resilience foster carer, you would foster one young person and support that person to adult life.
TurnAround fostering enables a child or young person to have short term emergency care, when they first enter the care system, for up to 72 working hours.
This type of fostering allows time for professionals to explore long term options available, complete any assessments and plan accordingly for their next steps.
Family and friends fostering
When parents have difficulties at home, their children may need to be looked after by someone else, for example: a relative, friend or other person who is connected to the children.
These arrangements involved in family and friends fostering can be made directly between parents and their relatives or friends or a social worker may be involved.
Private fostering is when a child or young person under 16 years old (or 18 if they have a disability) is looked after for 28 days or more by someone who is not a close relative, guardian or person with parental responsibility.
Close relatives include parents, step-parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents. You must inform the local authority if you are involved in a private fostering arrangement.