Types of fostering
There are many ways of providing foster care to a child or young person, and foster carers with Achieving for Children apply their experience and personal qualities to all kinds of situations, including:
Most of our foster carers provide this type of care, which can be anything from an overnight stay to two years. It covers all the usual things that parents do for their children – giving them good food, clean clothes and a routine; but carers also take children to meet with birth parents, social workers and other professionals. Two of the most vital things carers can do are to offer some one-to-one time and a listening ear.
Sometimes a child will be removed from their home suddenly, either through unexpected circumstances or if they have been victims of neglect or abuse. Emergency care may be for as little as one night while we find them a more permanent place to stay.
Children stay in long term foster care when a court says that they can’t go back to live with their birth parents. If they’re too old for adoption or don’t want a new family, this kind of care is often the best. One or more children from the same family can stay with the same foster carer until they become adults, although carers can’t make decisions about their future as we’re still responsible for them.
Parent and child
Occasionally we need places for a young parent and their baby to stay. Here, the foster carer provides stability and support to help develop parenting skills and monitors their relationship as part of the local authority’s work in making plans for the baby.
Family and friends carers
When a parent can’t look after their child and they’re taken into our care, it’s sometimes possible for a family member or friend to take care of the child instead. Our Fostering Team will support the carers from the moment the child is placed with them. Carers who do this can become approved as the child’s official foster carer after a full assessment. Once accepted they would receive a fee as well as an allowance.
Short breaks (respite) care
If you work full time and can’t look after a child during the week, you can still play a valuable role by providing weekend or holiday care for children (usually with physical or learning disabilities) whose parents or foster carers may need a break. This can give a child valuable experiences like outings which their parents might not be able to manage.
Private fostering is when parents make a special arrangement for their child to stay with someone else for more than 28 days consecutively. More information here.