Long term fostering – Separation from family is one of the most disruptive events that can occur in a child’s life.
SimplyFostering.co.uk has found that children suffering from the trauma of abuse and neglect may also be affected by the process of foster care itself.
However, Simply Fostering believes that foster care has evolved into the best possible means of providing children with short and long-term placement options if children are unable to live with their families.
If a child is unable to return to the care of their birth family, but adoption is not appropriate for that child, long term foster carers may need to be found to care for them.
As the term, long term suggests, long term foster carers will normally care for a child for a longer period of time than a short term carer which is often through to independence.
Children who need long term fostering are likely to be older children (not usually younger than 7 years old). These older children may benefit from keeping in regular contact with their brothers, sisters, parents and wider family.
Children in long term placements may stay with their foster carers until they leave home to live independently. However, it may be that changes happen and the decision can be made for the child to return to the care of their parents earlier than expected.
Long term fostering allows children and young people to live with a family where they can feel secure and experience a stable family environment, while maintaining contact with their birth family when that’s right for them.
A significant number of children who need long term foster carers are teenagers, both girls and boys.
Most of these children will have had difficulties at home. They come from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds, including unaccompanied minors, who will need support and help in adjusting to living in a new country.
There are foster carer placements required where children and young people can feel safe and begin to build a new life for themselves. Fostering Agencies are looking for foster carers who can provide a stable long term foster home and lots of support and encouragement to help these children feel safe and secure. Youngsters do well when they are placed with a foster carer of the same language, religion and culture.
Although many foster carers choose to look after children from time to time, such as respite or short term foster carers, there is a national shortage of foster carers who can be available full time as long term carers and the more available foster carers are, the more foster care placements will be offered.
The success of long term foster care placements derives from the careful matching of a child with their foster family and ongoing training and support for carers.
The success of foster care placements of adolescents depends on the foster carer’s level of understanding of identity, child development and the emerging independency needs of the young person.
All Fostering Agencies are seeking to recruit foster carers for older children both for long and short term placements.
Foster families who can open their homes to these children right the way through to independence are currently being sought across the UK. Contact us to apply to foster children