Five Types of Foster Care
By Rebecca Bentley
Fostering children and young people can happen in different ways. Placements can be spontaneous or planned, long term or short term, emergency or permanent. Let us find out what placement type will work with your lifestyle and you too will be able to help a child or young person in need.
When discussing foster care in the community, most people picture short-term and long-term foster care. These would be the most common types of placements alongside kinship care.
We’ll start with short term care placements. Short term placements provide a safe, stable environment with the ultimate goal of reunification with birth parents or extended family. Placements for children and young people in need of care for longer periods of time are considered long-term foster care placements. These placements are sometimes not expected to result in reunification to their birth family and can often result in young people staying with foster families until they become legal adults and are ready to live independently.
Kinship care is similar to short and long-term care however it differs as the carer is known to the child or young person. This person can be an extended family member, close friend or someone in their community. Kinship care offers children and young people the ability to maintain important connections with their family, culture and community.
People are generally less aware of respite care and emergency care.
Respite by definition means ‘a short period of rest or relief’. Respite carers provide a short break to short-term, long-term foster and kinship carers. It can be for a few hours, a few days or even a few weeks. These breaks are scheduled or arranged in advance. Frequently, foster carers start out as respite carers until they gain experience and then become short-term or long-term foster carers.
Emergency care placements are where a placement is required immediately. Often there are concerns for the child or young person’s safety or well-being and they need somewhere to stay while a longer-term foster carer is found. These placements frequently occur on weekends and after hours.
We are with you every step of the way.
At Foundations Care, we are committed to building successful placements.
Our aim is to support our carers, to listen to their feedback and to provide the resources they need. Our goal is to work together to ensure we are all focused on the best outcome for every child and young person in need.