Short-term foster carers can look after a baby, a child or a group of brothers and sisters while plans are made for their long-term future. They could go back to their families, be adopted or move into long-term foster care. They'll usually still have contact with their birth families.
A short-term placement could last from a few days to over a year, and we may not know at the beginning of the placement exactly when the child will move on.
Long-term foster carers look after a child or young person who can't go back to their birth family and aren't going to be adopted. They will usually have some contact with birth relatives.
With fostering on a long-term basis, there's sometimes the need to foster a group of brothers and sisters, helping to keep the family unit together.
A child could be as young as seven when they move into a long-term placement and it will usually last until they are 16-18 years old. After 18, a child may move into a different arrangement called 'Staying Put' or Supported Lodgings.
A young person is entitled to intervention from social care until they are 21 or if they choose to go to university, until they are 25.
Siblings & Teenagers
Some children come into our care and we may find it difficult to find the right home for them. We are committed to keeping children together where possible and we often have need to accommodate a large sibling group. This is why you can be approved to foster up to 3 children, provided you have at least 2 bedrooms, and in exceptional cases and, where you have space, an extension of this approval may be made in order to keep a larger sibling group together.
Teenagers are often a misrepresented group of children in care. There are many teenagers in need of an understanding and supportive carer who can help them gain independent skills, support them with school or college and teach them self-worth. It is an exciting and challenging time for young people, but with the right care and support, their adult life can be transformed.