Ways of fostering
We need people to provide a variety of different types of foster care. This could be providing short-term respite for existing carers; the long-term fostering of children and young people to the specialist care of children with health or disability issues.
Providing temporary care to children and young people is both challenging and rewarding. Many children and young people require care on a short or mid-term basis and they will eventually return home, live with other family members, move on to permanent care or live independently as young adults.
Temporary can mean anything from days to years and foster carers must be prepared to work as part of a team of people including the family to meet the needs of children in their care.
Some children cannot live with their families but it is not appropriate that they are adopted. For these children living with a foster family long term is often the best choice.
Permanent carers are often called upon to maintain contact between children and their families and friends.
The Support Carer Scheme formalises the use of extended family and friends to provide ongoing support to the full-time foster carers when short periods of cover are required for the children or young people. It minimises disruption for the child and also avoids the need to use other carers who would remain available for full-time placements.
Short break carers
Foster carers who are available on a part-time basis are a valuable resource to our children and young people. Short break carers provide regular short term placements for children in full-time care and occasionally offer the same service to children living at home to help maintain them in their family.