Types of Foster Care

Types of Foster Care

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Types of Foster Care

Did you know there were different types of fostering?

All types of foster care are challenging, rewarding and a massive commitment your whole family has to make. All our families feel it is worth it.

When considering fostering you need to think about what style of fostering would best suit you and your household. Some people feel they wish to care for a child until they reach adulthood, whilst others feel that they are best suited to care for children for a shorter time while decisions are made about their long-term future. 

Then there are even more specialised types of foster care like parent and child, therapeutic fostering and emergency foster care.

You can change the type of fostering you do over time, whether that’s taking on therapeutic care as you gain confidence or changing to caring for a child longer term.

Respite Care

Respite carers will care for a child for a shorter, and often planned period of time. This might be so that their usual carers can recharge, or to attend a special event or have a holiday just as a couple.  Just like when any parent or guardian takes time for themselves.

Respite care may also be taken so the carer’s time away from home when it may be inappropriate to bring the young person or to help the carer during times of stress or difficulties.

Respite care can often be a  holiday for the children as well, and are just as well matched with the families they go to. The carers themselves enjoy having the shorter commitment where they may not be able to look after children long term, and one of the more exciting things about respite care is the wide range of children you get to meet and families you build lasting friendships with.


Short-term Fostering

The length of time a child stays with you isn't always known at the beginning. They may stay one night, until a family member comes forward to care for them. They may stay with you for two years. This is still short term fostering. 

It is relatively common that the young person will have contact with their parents during this time and it may be that there are ongoing court proceedings so that decisions about their futures are made.

A lot of the wonderful work you would do as a short-term carer is reassuring children, making them feel safe and providing a calm, nurturing environment where you can help them understand what is happening.


Long-term Fostering

Long term fostering is when a family make a long term commitment to the children in their care. These children may have come through the court process and the judge has decided that they are to remain looked after until they enter adulthood. Many of these children do have contact with their birth families although it might not be as frequent. This commitment is a huge investment for a family, but suits lots of people as they see the long term benefits of offering good quality consistent care, being part of making a sustained difference to someone's life.



Parent and Child Fostering

This is a specialist type of fostering. This type of fostering involves the mother or father, or both, and their baby or young child being placed together in foster care.

Not everybody has the support they need when they have a new baby. Raising toddlers and young children isn't always easy for everybody. Our families know that they have to exhibit a great deal of patience and understanding. They understand the importance of being non-judgmental and supportive.

As a fostering agency we will support and guide you at every step. You will receive additional support and training to enable you to successfully support a parent and their child.

It is an amazing commitment and can be incredibly rewarding to help a new or struggling parent realise their strengths and meet the needs of their baby or child.

Parent and child carers are essential for providing a safe environment to keep families together, giving parents opportunities they may not have had.



Therapeutic Fostering

Therapeutic fostering involves caring for children and young people who are experiencing a really difficult time in their lives. Therapeutic carers will need to manage the behaviours that may arise from the emotional and psychological damage they have experienced, whilst providing a nurturing, loving, safe environment for the young person to heal.

 Being a therapeutic carer may mean that you have to work harder to make the child feel safe, secure and happy but you are not doing it alone.

Extra support is available, on top of the 24/7 support from a social worker that every foster carer gets, therapeutic carers will also receive guidance from a trained therapist who will also work alongside the young person as well as having access to additional training and bespoke support packages.


Emergency Foster Care

Emergency carers are those willing to have a child placed with them on the same day the phone call is made, which we recognize can be a daunting thought.

Providing an immediate welcoming safe environment for a child who is gonig to come to you in a distressed state requires a special set of skills.




Fostering Sibling Groups

Keeping siblings together safely is always a priority, but there is a shortage of carers who have the space to accommodate siblings,  particularly large sibling groups.

Sibling rivalry and looking after children of different ages come with unique challenges, which we will provide training and support for so you feel equipped to deal with any behaviours thrown your way.

Sibling group fostering can be one of the most rewarding, knowing that you’ve kept a group of siblings together which otherwise may not have been possible. Seeing their bond develop with age and creating your own bond with them can create everlasting memories.


Fostering Teenagers

The age group that gets overlooked the most are teenagers.

Families often go into fostering expecting to look after babies or very young children. But the reality is that 62% of children looked after are aged ten or over. They are often overlooked as being problematic but this isn't always the case. Teenagers bring with them their own challenges, but welcoming a young person into your home who is at such a vulnerable time of their lives, and showing them an alternative family experience, will often make the difference between continuing on the same path and making positive and lasting choices.


Client Testimonials

“They are always there for me even if I don’t know it and love me unconditionally”

Foster Child, Maidstone, 2021

"It is the best place in the world and nothing could make me leave”

Foster Child, Maidstone, 2021

“My supervisory home visits have always gone well, she is very supportive and gives me good advice, she is always ready to listen. I could not have asked for a better service.”

Foster carer, Gillingham, 2021

“My supervising social worker is always on hand and ready to listen and help. She arranges help when needed and will arrange someone to help me when needed also this includes respite and someone to take the girls out to help give me a break as a sole carer”

Foster carer, Gillingham, 2021

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