Children come into foster care for lots of different reasons and we need to have a variety of foster carers who can meet their needs.
We have a number of options or types of fostering which allow us to match children to the most suitable carers – some of our children will require a cultural match or maybe have a carer who has experienced in caring for a child or young person with complex needs. It also gives you options to choose a scheme which best suits you and your family.
Task centred fostering
This can be a fostering placement for a child which meets their needs for the immediate or short term. For example, it might be offering a child a placement for a few days or a few weeks while their parent is in hospital and there are no family members, or occasionally could be support to other carers or emergency situations when a child needs an immediate placement.
If a family is experiencing difficulties, you could be looking after a child or young person until they are able to move back home, or if this is not possible they may move on to long term foster care or adoption. For older children you may need to work in partnership with their social worker and help them prepare to live independently.
When children are unable to return home to their families and adoption isn’t an option, they stay with long term foster carers until they reach an age where they can live independently. This gives the child a permanent home and stability until they reach adulthood.
As a long term foster carer, you’ll play a vital role in preparing children or young people for adulthood and will help them with life skills such as budgeting, cooking and with their education.
Mother and baby fostering
Mother and baby fostering provides a home alongside supporting a young parent under the age of 18 with a child when they're unable to live with their own family. You'll be providing support and guidance to the young parent in meeting both their own and their child's needs.
The carer will need to work closely with the birth parent (usually mother) in their own home to help improve parenting skills. This will enable the birth parent and the child to stay together and increase the likelihood for the parent and child to bond in those crucial early months.
Fostering to adopt and concurrent planning
There are now 2 new routes to adoption that involve fostering. People who want to foster with the intention of adopting can now be 'dual' approved as both a foster carer and an adopter.
More information on fostering to adopt and concurrent planning.