Fostering (or foster care) can help to provide a family life for children and young people who are unable to live with their own parents for various reasons. It is most commonly used to provide a place of temporary care whilst parents can get help to sort issues, have a break, or to help children through a difficult situation.
How does fostering differ to adoption?
It is important to remember that when a child is in foster care that the child’s parents or local authority are still legally responsible for them. When a child is adopted the legal responsibility passes onto the new family and those who previously had responsibility are no longer in that position. The CWDC was created to provide support in the introduction of the Every Child Mattersscheme
Find out more about the difference between fostering and adoption.
Types of fostering?
It is important to distinguish between different types of fostering; some examples are included below:
Short-breaks (sometimes also called respite) - provides opportunities for disabled children to have enjoyable experiences which help them become more independent and form friendships outside their family.
‘Family and Friends’ – children are looked after by the local authority but cared for by extended family or approved foster carers already known to the child
Full Time Fostering – a child lives with a foster carer on a long or full time basis, ideally until adulthood.
Fostered asylum seekers
Specialised Therapeutic fostering – Foster care for a child who has very complex needs and/or has been known to show challenging behaviour.
Remand Fostering – young people who are remanded by the court into foster care.
Emergency – a placement lasting a couple of nights for children needing a safe haven.
Private Fostering – parents arrange for child to stay with someone who is not a relative or has parental responsibilities. This arrangement needs to continue for more than 27 days.
Short Term – carers who look after a child for a few weeks or months while permanent solutions are arranged.
Short Breaks or Respite – a chance for disabled children to have fun and to become more independent outside of their family, whilst given their carers a break.
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