Types of fostering

There are different types of fostering, to best meet the needs of each child.

During the assessment process you will decide which would best suit your circumstances. It could be one, or several of the below. With training and experience, carers can choose to specialise.

Respite care

Respite care is planned care for short periods of time. This could be to give the child’s family or main carer a break, or to cover a period where normal care is unavailable.

Respite care can last for:

  • A few hours a day
  • A weekend
  • The duration of a school holiday
  • A specific period of time

It allows a degree of flexibility if you are interested in becoming a carer, but unsure whether you should stop working.

Task centred care

The most common type of care in the borough, task centred care focuses on completing a task or tasks with the fostered child or young person.

This could be:

  • Mediation work between them and their family, helping them to resolve any conflict
  • Going through a legal process such as care proceedings
  • helping them to prepare for more permanent care
  • Getting them ready to move back home

Timescales of care can vary, being dependant on the needs and circumstances of the child.

Permanent fostering

Is a way of providing long-term care to a child when their own family is not in a position do so. The child is matched to a foster carer who can support and nurture them through to adulthood. This is making a long term commitment to a child who cannot return home, and where other types of permanent care e.g. adoption are not appropriate.

We are keen to keep as many of our children who cannot return home living within the Borough. If you feel you could offer a permanent home to a child contact us today.

Innovation Mentors

An Innovation Mentor is a foster carer who is fully trained under a specialist training programme. Carers receive pre-placement training, where they receive an overview and understanding of the model, learn the expectations and practice implementation approaches.

Throughout the training clarity is given on how the approach is to be individualised for each family and young person. The goal of this approach is to provide a consistent and stable family placement for adolescents with the view of establishing and maintaining a permanent arrangement.

Parent and baby care

Parent and baby care involves the foster carer giving their support and guidance to new parents, often a mother with a baby or young child.

Rather than having sole responsibility for the baby the carer is there to provide emotional and practical support to a new parent; helping them to develop the skills they need to parent successfully.

Fostering by family or friends

Children who are looked after by the local authority can be cared for by people they already know, usually another family member or a family friend.

This can be highly beneficial for the child, minimising any upheaval whilst being cared for by someone they are familiar with.

If the child is not looked after by the local authority, children can live with their aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters or grandparents without outside involvement.

Private fostering

Private fostering is when parents make a special arrangement for their child to stay with someone else for more than 28 days (consecutively). This person is usually outside the family, not a close relative, and has no direct parental responsibility for the child.

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Updated: 26 August 2015