Foster care doesn’t necessarily mean 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Some children will need to be looked after for a day or two, others will need care every day until they reach adulthood.
Finding the right type of fostering for your household is important and your assessing social worker will discuss this with you carefully.
Don't think just because you are only available for parts of a week that you cannot help with fostering.
Short term care
When children first come in to foster care they need to live with a Foster carers who’s task is to support the child until the plan is decided for the childs long term future.
Long term care
Some children will not be returning home or to adoptive parents so they will need a permanent home. These children will live with the carers as part of the family until adulthood.
There are many different situations where a child or young person might need a home at short notice, for example if a parent is taken into hospital and there is no one else to care for them, or if there is a child protection issue in the family.
Often when children need emergency foster care they are confused or frightened. They may be traumatised by the circumstances which have led them to need shelter. It’s important that a foster carer keeps this in mind and provides children with a stable, warm and understanding environment, acting with sensitivity at all times.
Support carer provides a weekend break to Families in the community for a weekend (usually once a month). These carers would be expected to work loosely with birth families. This kind of support can help prevent family breakdown.
Short breaks carers offer a service to children who have a disability, specific training is provided. This is intended to give the family and child a break.
Parent and baby care
Sometimes a young parent and their child need to be fostered together. These are young parents who are under 18 who need support with their parenting and independent living skills.