Here at Apple Fostering, we offer many type of foster placements, fit to match each child and foster parents unique care requirements. From short term foster care placements that can last weeks or even years, to parent and child placements that usually last 3-6 months -we aim to cater to whatever is best for both the foster child and parent.
If you want to become a foster carer and are wondering which type of fostering is right for you, this guide to the different types of foster placements should help. If you’re new to fostering, it can be difficult to figure out which type of fostering will work best. However, we’ve found that it’s always best to take both your skills and experiences into consideration.
If all else fails? We’re right here. Our friendly experts here at Apple Fostering will guide you through your entire process. From your initial enquiry, all the way to the end of your foster care experience; we’re right by your side.
For now, though, let’s get educated.
Emergency Foster Care
Up first, is our Emergency fostering option. This type of fostering is when a child or young person needs an urgent foster placement, in most cases, the very same day. If the child or young person hasn’t previously been in care, there may be very little information known about them. While this may make things that little bit harder, there’s nothing to worry about.
Sometimes, a child may need an urgent placement because their previous placement has broken down, or due to a family mishap. In an emergency situation, there will not be an opportunity to meet the child beforehand. However, you can get to know each other as you start your fostering journey.
Emergency placements may be for as little as a few days whilst alternative arrangements are made. In some circumstances, they may lead to short term foster care placements.
Short Term Foster Care
Speaking of short term foster care – let’s take a deeper dive.
Short term foster care involves caring for a child or young person while plans are being made for their long term foster care, it can last for as little as a few weeks, a few months or up to two years. A child or young person may require short term fostering placements following the breakdown of a previous foster or adoptive placement. Some children may need short term foster care due to a family crisis and will eventually return home to their parents.
Other children will have been removed from their parents due to concerns about their care and will be subject to care proceedings. This will determine their long-term future. In all of these instances, children will have suffered the trauma of removal from familiar people and surroundings. They will need carers who can provide a welcoming environment, stability, and reassurance.
Short term foster care is often extremely varied, it requires flexibility and the ability to work in partnership with a variety of professionals. When caring for younger children, foster carers will usually be required to commit to facilitating contact with parents and relatives.
As always, we’ve got you covered. Apple Fostering offers training and a high level of support to assist carers in meeting the challenges of short term fostering.
Long Term Foster Care
Long term foster care involves caring for a child or young person who will not be returning to their birth family. This type of fostering requires a commitment to care for the child up to the age of 18 or beyond.
Long term foster care can be very rewarding as carers see young people thrive in their care and develop into young adults. Young people who have been in long term foster care placements will often become part of the family establishing a permanent relationship into adulthood.
Some long term fostering placements are planned from the beginning and carefully matched over a period of time. In other situations, a short term placement may develop into a long term. This happens if the plan for the child changes and both the carer and the child want the placement to continue.
We are particularly keen to hear from people who have the space to foster sibling groups. When Local Authorities look for placements for children from the same family, they often want to keep those children together. When taken into care, it can be a frightening and traumatic event. Children will want to remain together and have the security of being with their brothers and sisters.
Do you have the space and time to foster a sibling group?
You will need to have sufficient space to be able to accommodate a sibling group. Older children would be expected to have their own bedroom. However, if you have a large bedroom available, two younger children of the same sex may be able to share a room.
We will ensure you’re given all the support and guidance you need. You’ll not only receive ongoing training; you will also have access to round-the-clock support and contact with other experienced Apple foster carers
Parent and Child Placements
Parent and child fostering is where a placement is provided for a parent or parents with their baby/child/children. The parent may be young and be in care themselves. Sometimes, you may place them during the pregnancy to help prepare for birth. In other situations, there may be concerns in relation to the parent’s ability to care for a child.
The foster carer’s role is to provide support and guidance to assist the parent(s) in developing their parenting role. In cases where there are significant concerns and the local authority are carrying out assessments, you will, in addition, need to monitor the care given to the child. Also, you may maintain detailed notes to inform the social work assessment.
Parent and child foster carers with Apple Fostering receive specialist training. They also obtain a high level of support to assist them in fulfilling their role.
Children with Disabilities
Fostering a child or young person with a disability can be very rewarding. It may involve caring for a child with a physical disability, learning difficulties, or medical conditions. Specialist training and support are provided for Apple carers of children with disabilities. This type of fostering can often tie in with both short term foster care and long term foster care.
Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children
Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children arrive in the UK having been separated from their parents for a variety of reasons. They come to the UK from a wide range of countries, have travelled long distances, and suffered traumatic events. Some young people will have fled war zones. Where possible local authorities will try and place unaccompanied minors with families who share a similar culture or language. However, this is not always possible.
For this reason, we are always seeking foster carers who are adaptable and resourceful and who can assist a young person in settling into life and foster placements in the UK, whilst being sensitive to their cultural, religious, and linguistic needs.