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Types of Fostering

Day Foster Care

Day foster care is an alternative form of care, which provides a support system in the community, with foster carers provide care on a daily basis in their own home. In this way the child's family gets the chance to tackle and hopefully deal more effectively with their difficulties. This form of care can prevent the child being placed in full time care. There are different reasons for day foster care an example would be a lone parent with no family support who may feel very isolated in the community and may experience serious difficulty coping with a young child or children or a young child with behavioral problems whose special needs may be creating stress within their family.

The benefits of day foster care are many, the child is spared the trauma of separation from his/her family, he/she can go home each evening to his/her own bed yet benefit from the additional care and stimulation offered in the foster home. There is minimal disruption to his/her family life, while the parents can obtain practical help, advice and support from the foster parents.

Short Term Foster Care

Short term foster care provides temporary care for a child or children, separated from their birth family. The reasons are varied but can include illness, abuse or neglect. Being short term the child/ren will, after a period, move back to their family or move on to long term care.  Parting from a child one has cared for and grow close to, can often be difficult.

Long Term Foster Care

Long term foster care is needed for children who are unlikely to be able to live with their birth family, and who, for a variety of reasons cannot be adopted.  

How long is long term? Long term requires a commitment on the part of the foster family for a number of years and is usually required when it is decided by the social worker that it is unlikely the child/young person will return to live with their own family. The situation is reviewed regularly and decisions can be changed. Many children in long term care become so much part of their foster family that they continue to live with them until their independence 

Emergency Foster Care

Emergency care is where a child comes into care very quickly and is placed with 'emergency carers'. It could also happen that an existing placement breaks down and a child needs to be moved quickly and again, is placed with emergency carers.

Respite Foster Care

Respite foster care is provided by some foster parents/carers to provide a break for a child's family or another foster family. Where a foster child/young person is under stress and may be displaying very difficult behavior, a break gives breathing space to all concerned. Whether this break takes place during the week, at weekends or at other times depends on the needs in each child's case. Where a child is in foster care and the placement is at risk of breaking down or where planned breaks are part of the Care Plan, a support or respite family is identified and it is essential that both families work together in the interests of the child.