What options are there in fostering?
There are different types of fostering, see which one is best suited for you.
Are you able to accommodate children with little or no notice? A family crisis might mean that children have to come into care very suddenly without the opportunity to plan. This might happen at night.
Torfaen works in a consortium with other local authorities in South East Wales so it might be that the Emergency Duty Social Worker will want to place a child from a neighbouring authority with carers who are approved for emergencies.
Children usually move on from an emergency placement within 72 hours but it could be longer.
Short term fostering
Can you be a shoulder to cry on?
Carers who specialise in short-term fostering are likely to see a larger number of children staying in their homes. It can be demanding as you will have to welcome and part with children more frequently, but it is also a rewarding experience to help a child in need.
Some short-term placements are planned in that they might be a response to, for example, a mother going into hospital. Such placements can last from a few days or be a little longer.
You need to provide stability, care and support for the child for as long as it is needed.
Long term/permanent fostering
Can you provide a child with a loving, stable home?
Children who are not able to go back to their birth parents and for whom adoption is not a possibility will need looking after for the rest of their childhood.
You will provide a ’substitute’ home and family, offering the stability, support and guidance all young people need to help them enjoy their childhood and grow into secure and confident adults.
Such placements are carefully planned with every attempt being made to consider the child’s background – ethnicity, religion etc – when choosing a fostering family. You will be given the time to get to know your foster child before he or she moves in.
Foster carers and young people who have been in a long-term placement often develop special relationships and keep in contact with each other long after the young person has left care.
Short-break (respite) fostering
Can you provide a helping hand?
Short term breaks support parents/carers and children who may benefit from a break in their routine. Children on the scheme may have a wide range of needs whether mild physical, emotional or behavioural or with more complex needs.
We always need people who have the skills and experience to help children with limited mobility or with health conditions that require particular attention. Many successful applicants have no experience at all.
Carers and young people are carefully matched so that you both know what to expect. You will be trained and assessed as a foster carer and receive support from family placement social workers, parents and health professionals if this is needed.
Fostering children from ethnic minorities
Some children needing foster care are from ethnic minorities. In choosing the right foster carer for a child we consider a child’s religion, racial origin, cultural background, and first language in an attempt to match up families and children of similar backgrounds. This is often difficult to achieve, however, because of a shortage of ethnic minority carers compared to the number of children of different racial backgrounds.
We would encourage – and assist, where possible – any carer who fosters a child from a different ethnic background to gain knowledge about that background.
The child’s social worker would also be on hand to advise how best to address the child’s needs which might include practical considerations such as religion-specific diets and attendance at places of worship.
Fostering children with disabilities
Children may have a wide range of needs – from mild physical, emotional or behavioural needs to very complex needs. You will be trained and receive practical advice and support from the family placement social work team, parents and other health professionals to enable you to meet the needs of any individual child you work with who has a disability.
Young people who have been looked after by the social services and have reached their sixteenth birthday are regarded as care leavers and have the option of living semi-independent lives in supported lodgings. This service is also available to vulnerable young people between the ages of sixteen and eighteen who find themselves homeless. This is a form of fostering where the young person is a lodger and the degree of support given is mutually agreed.
Last Modified: 05/12/2018
Back to top