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The different types of Foster Care

There are different types of fostering options for you to choose from depending on your own preferences, experience and circumstances. Every child and young person will have different needs and therefore require different types of placements. The assessment process will help to identify the type of foster care that is best suited to you and your family.

Short term foster care

Short term fostering placements are for children and young people who require temporary care. Often this is because their families are unable to look after them during a particular time. This could be because their parents are unwell or unable to cope at that time. Alternatively the family may be going through care proceedings – so a child might go into foster care in the short term while decisions are being made about who will look after them in the future.

The length of a short term fostering placement can vary significantly, depending on the individual circumstances of the child. The placements could be as short as an emergency overnight stay, a few weeks or as long as a number of months up to two years.

Compared to other kinds of fostering placements short term carers often have higher levels of contact with the children’s birth family whilst assessments are underway, and can also be involved in introducing children to their new adoptive families. Part of your role will be to support the child to move on.

Permanent / Long Term Foster Care

Long term foster placements give children an opportunity to live in a stable foster placement with a committed carer until they reach adulthood. Long term fostering gives children a sense of consistency and belonging, helping them to developing positive new relationships and build links within their local community.

Long term foster carers offer the permanent one-to-one support and care that these young people need to thrive. This type of care is a long term commitment and you need to be willing to stick by them through the good and bad times until adulthood. You really could make a difference to their future.

You need to embrace them as another member of your family while recognising that they still have a relationship with their birth family. Long term fostering can appear to be very similar to adoption however unlike adoption a child in care with you on a long term foster placement will remain the legal responsibility of the local authority. With adoption, the legal responsibilities for the child are transferred to their adoptive parents.

Placements for Children and Young People seeking asylum

In Portsmouth we have children and young people seeking sanctuary and asylum in the UK. These children have travelled a long way, have been separated from their family and often speak little or no English. We are looking to recruit carers who can meet the cultural and religious needs of these young people and offer them a safe environment.

Supportive lodgings – Lodgings Plus

Portsmouth has a supportive lodgings scheme which pays people to provide lodgings accommodation for young people aged 16 and over. We need people who can provide accommodation and a minimum of 10 hours support a week to young people taking their first steps into independence.

Many of these young people will have previously been placed in foster homes or residential children’s homes or are homeless 16 and 17 year olds. Could you be a young person’s inspiration and mentor and help them get off on the right start to a successful independent life.

As these young people have a degree of independence this placement option can fit in well with carers who have work commitments.

Parent and child placements

A parent and child placement is a specialist foster placement involving a foster carer providing care to babies and young children alongside one or both parents. These arrangements are usually short term offering support and advice so that parents can care for their own child, they could also include parenting assessments and court proceedings.

These placements are intensive and foster carers doing this work need good communication skills and the confidence to monitor and assess parenting potential.

Family Link

Our Family Link carers provide regular short breaks for children with complex needs, such as a disability or medical condition. This gives the child’s parents a chance to have a regular break, whilst giving the child opportunities to meet new people and do different things.

You will need to have a genuine interest in providing short term care for a child with disabilities, within your home. These placements can last from a few hours up to a weekend.

Respite carers

Respite carers provide breaks for children who usually live in full time foster care or children who do not need full time foster care. This could be a regular weekday, weekend or overnight commitment to one or more children, or a one-off arrangement. Respite care involves caring for children and young people to give their parents/foster parents a break.

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