There are a number of reasons as to why some children are unable to live with their own birth family, therefore, they need somewhere safe where they can live.
This safe place is a foster home, where children can live for a few days, weeks, months or even years.
Foster carers provide the stability and family support that a child or young person may need at various points in their life when they are unable to live with their parents or in the family home. They provide a child / children with all things that any family would – food, warmth, shelter, love, care and support.
There is no such thing as a typical fostering situation, so a child could be any age from newborn to 18 years old, or we may need to find foster homes where brothers and sisters can stay together.
On a practical level you will need to do the school run, help with homework, cook meals, and generally keep your home ticking over as normal. You will also help a child develop their confidence, self-esteem, gain independence and fulfil their potential by encouraging them, listening to their views whilst promoting their growth and development. However, you will never be alone. Your supervising social worker will be on hand to help, advise and guide you every step of the way.
Types of fostering
There are many different types of fostering that foster carers can choose to specialise in, each with their own challenges and rewards. It is important to explore which type of fostering will be most suited to you and your family.
This type of placement is temporary. It can mean providing care while the permanent plan is being decided. It may be that children go home to parents or to another family member or may need to be placed with long term permanent carers.
This care is a long-term commitment to a child or siblings, right through to adulthood. The children become very much part of the foster family, although will have contact with their family of origin.
Short Breaks for Children with Disabilities
Children with disabilities may be given a break with families who will give them time, attention and fun, for a few days each month, allowing their families a chance to recharge their batteries. Training is provided if medical knowledge is needed.
Parent and Child
Parent and child/children foster care is for children and their parents, either mother or father or both together. This placement offers support and guidance to new parents with their baby or young child and helps them to build and develop parenting skills.
Young Persons Pathway
This is when a child is aged 11 or over upon placement. This type of placement is a rewarding opportunity to guide teenagers in a vital stage of their lives.
When children have to leave their parents they are vulnerable and require the stability of staying with their brothers and sisters. We need carers who are able to keep siblings together. This could be short term, long term or simply for a respite.