Seven types of foster care that could change a young person’s life

Seven types of foster care that could change a young person’s life small

Could you open your home to a young person in need? We share the different foster care options to suit your family, skills and lifestyle

In times of crisis, it is always heart-warming to see how people come together to support those in need. At The Fostering Foundation, we have seen this in recent weeks, as the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine continues to grow. Since Russa began its invasion of Ukraine in February, more than 10 million people are thought to have fled their homes, with 4.3 million leaving for neighbouring countries.

As soon as the UK launched its scheme inviting families to open their homes to refugees, people began contemplating how they could best support and started signing up. Now, more than 10,000 Brits have offered to help in the Homes for Ukraine scheme, with many enquiring with fostering agencies about how to help sanctuary-seeking children.

If the recent crisis has made you consider opening your home to a young person in need, but you are unable to foster a refugee or sanctuary-seeking child for any reason, there are still many different ways that you can change the life of a young person. In fact, the UK is currently experiencing a shortfall of 25,000 foster homes over the next five years. As a result of this, our most vulnerable members of society; our children in care, are faced with the reality of sometimes having to move home multiple times at crucial stages of their development and journey to adulthood.

We at The Fostering Foundation are fully committed to advocating for all children in care and finding them the right ‘home from home’ experience so they can thrive and fulfil their achievable ambitions. If you would like to discover more about The Fostering Foundation and how you could become a vital integral part of changing a child or young persons life by opening your home to help a child or young person in need , we’re here to help you find the right kind of foster care to suit your family. We provide dedicated support from our specialist Assessing Social Workers and Business Support Team to ensure the process runs as swiftly and smoothly as possible – all with financial assistance and specialist training available. Just read on to find out more.

Long term fostering

Long term fostering provides a child or young person with a committed, staple foster carer right through to adulthood, providing much needed consistency and belonging to children who cannot return to their families. This creates long-lasting bonds between carers and children and often forges bonds that last a lifetime. There is also the opportunity to progress to ‘Staying Put’ arrangements for continuing to support fostered children in your care as they reach adulthood.

Short term fostering

The most common type of fostering, short term foster care is designed to support children who require a temporary stable home, where foster carers can make a genuine, positive impact during times of huge change in a child’s life. Usually lasting a few weeks to several months, short term fostering may last up to two years, depending on the individual circumstances of the young person and their parents or carers. A child may require short term foster care if their parents are unwell or finding it difficult to cope with caring for a child, if the child is waiting to be adopted, if the family is going through care proceedings, or if parents require respite – for example, due to additional needs such as disability.

Emergency, respite and remand

All three of these specialist forms of short-term fostering involve plenty of training and support by our team. Remand fostering is an alternative to police custody, designed specifically to get young people out of a police or a secure residential environment.

Emergency foster carers are needed when children require a safe and secure environment at very short notice – whether due to sudden hospitalisation or the death of a parent, due to safeguarding issues or concerns of violence in the home. Emergency foster carers are specially trained to provide a safe home for short term care.

Respite care is designed to allow foster carers and birth families to take a short break –usually lasts from a couple of days to a week, often at weekends. Depending on the foster carer’s skills and training they choose to develop with us, they may offer respite to foster carers in high stress situations or to birth families who need assistance caring for a child with complex additional needs such as a disability.

Sibling fostering

It is so important to keep siblings together wherever possible, provided that has been determined to be in their best interests. Sibling fostering is designed to match pairs and groups of children with homes large enough to accommodate their needs. We at The Fostering Foundation are proud to be able to provide such a service to many sibling groups in our care. According to research; children are more likely to thrive if allowed to remain together, but having brothers and sisters together can also bring its own challenges, which is why we offer specialist, bespoke, training to all our foster carers on therapeutic parenting skills and foundations for attachment amongst others .

Parent and child fostering

According to the Children Act 1989 (Gov.uk) children should remain living with their birth families wherever possible. This specialist type of fostering provision ensures just that. It is incredibly rewarding and allows carers from all walks of life to teach critical life skills, that can change the lives of whole families for the better, and enable parents to remain caring for their children, provided it is safe to do so. Parent and child fostering allows new parents to live with foster carers for a fixed amount of time – usually 12 weeks – with their babies, to help them learn to parent in a safe and supportive environment. New parents might need this support for a number of reasons – from lack of a fixed address to past experience – and, in many cases, are young mums with no experience or support available.

Resilience fostering

Also known as therapeutic fostering, this type of care offers intensive training for foster carers to enable them to help children with more complex needs or challenging behaviours. This might be due to a number of factors, not least past trauma or abuse, disabilities, learning disabilities and other needs. Resilience fostering is especially well-suited to people who are calm in a crisis – perhaps you are a former nurse, doctor, social worker, prison or probation officer, emergency services personnel, military or even teacher, or perhaps you have experience with specific disabilities or special needs.

UASC fostering

Also known as sanctuary-seeking fostering, UASC stands for unaccompanied asylum-seeking child, and refers to any unaccompanied minor seeking refuge in the UK. They are usually first looked after by the local authority, and often placed with foster families while long-term care plans are arranged. Asylum-seeking children may have travelled to the UK to flee war, political turmoil, or exposure to abuse. We at The Fostering Foundation specialise in such circumstances and have an established bank of fostering households already provided this support. This short-term form of foster care is ideal for people from all different backgrounds who will be trained, by The Fostering Foundation, to support foster children through their trauma, language and cultural preservation, and integration to life in the UK.

To find out more about fostering, get in touch with The Fostering Foundation below

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