Emergency Foster Care
Emergency fostering is when a child or young person needs an urgent foster placement, usually the same day. If the child or young person hasn’t previously been in care, there may be very little information known about them.
In other circumstances a child will need an urgent placement because their previous placement has broken down, or due to a family breakdown. In an emergency situation there will not be an opportunity to meet the child beforehand. Most carers who offer emergency placements are also short term foster carers. Emergency placements may be for as little as a few days whilst alternative arrangements are made. In some circumstances they may lead to a short term placement.
Short Term Foster Care
Short term fostering involves caring for a child or young person while plans are being made for their long term 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 a short term placement following the breakdown of a previous foster or adoptive placement. Some children may need short term 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 which will determine their long term future. In all of these instances, children will have suffered the trauma of removal from familiar people and surroundings and will need carers who can provide a welcoming environment, stability and reassurance.
Short term fostering 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. 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 fostering involves caring for a child or young person who will not be returning to their birth family. It requires a commitment to care for the child up to the age of 18 or beyond.
Long Term fostering 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 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 one 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 are looking for placements for children from the same family, they will often want to keep those children together. Being taken into care can be a frightening and traumatic event and most 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 be asked to provide a placement during the pregnancy to help them prepare for the 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 be expected to monitor the care given to the child and maintain detailed notes to inform the social work assessment. Parent and child foster carers with Apple Fostering receive specialist training and 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 with a medical condition such as diabetes. Specialist training and support are provided for Apple carers of children with disabilities.
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, and we are seeking foster carers who are adaptable and resourceful and who can assist a young person in settling into life in the UK whilst being sensitive to their cultural, religious and linguistic needs.