What are the Types of Foster Care?
At Lorimer we appreciate that every foster carer’s personal circumstances are going to be different. Some people may have experience, through work, in dealing with teenagers so would prefer that age range, others may need to keep their current job going for financial reasons and may not be able to commit full-time so would need to look at respite only.
Whatever your circumstance there is a type of foster care for you and ultimately, a way in which you can make a difference! We will work with you during the assessment to help you decide which type of placements will be most suited to you and your family situation.
Types of fostering placements:
These are often made at times of crisis for families or when a child’s safety can only be guaranteed by being placed with a foster family. Due to the speed with which these decisions are made they are likely to be unplanned, and may often be made of an evening or weekend. It is difficult to say how long the child will then stay with you but it is generally only for a few days or weeks in order to make more permanent plans.
This type of fostering is when foster carers look after children for a few weeks or months, while plans are made for the child’s future. It is important to understand, however, that it can often be difficult to make such long-term plans, and that sometimes things don’t go according to plan. If the child is doing very well and is happy then what was originally only supposed to be for a few weeks can often lead into months and even years resulting to a more long-term arrangement being made.
When families are feeling the strain and are struggling to provide care it is often suggested that they have ‘respite’ meaning their child/young person will frequently go to an identified foster carer for weekends or during school holidays.
Similarly, all Lorimer foster carers receive, as part of their support package, 2 weeks respite per year. During this time the foster child(ren) will go to live with another identified carer, whilst the original carer continues to receive their professional fee.
Some people, who are new to foster caring or have a limited amount of time to give to fostering, choose to act solely as respite carers.
This type of foster care is when young people have found themselves in the criminal justice system because of their actions and are remanded by a court to the care of a specially trained foster carer while they await their court date. This type of placement would only ever be offered to our more experienced ‘specialist’ carers.
Long term foster carers care for children and young people right through their childhood and up until adulthood. This kind of mutual commitment would only generally happen after a child or young person has been in your care for some time and is thriving. For all involved this is the most influential type of fostering as you will be proving stability through the most important years.
Parent and Child
This service can be the hardest but most rewarding for our foster carers. Offering a young parent or on occasion parents with a home in which they can bring up their baby/child. Generally the placements will be teenager mothers with their babies. As carers you are there to guide the young parent without taking over, which in itself can be difficult when often the young parent(s) are struggling to cope with the demands of a newborn.
The staying put scheme is designed to support young people between the ages of 18 to 25 through independence. This allows those young people already placed with a carer to stay there until they feel ready to be on their own.
An ever increasing number of teenagers need the stability of a loving foster home during some of their most stressful years. Being a teenager isn’t easy for anyone, with lots of emotional and social stress as well as educational pressure so coupled with the childhood history of these foster children you can only imagine what they are going through. This stress and anxiety is often expressed through challenging behaviour.
Fostering teenagers is challenging but extremely rewarding once you have broken down those barriers – just take a look at some of our carer studies to see just how much…