We know that fostering isn’t about a ‘one size fit all’ approach to childcare - no two children are the same.
There are children and young people from a variety of backgrounds who need foster carers; all require different skills and varying levels of commitment.
Foster care doesn’t necessarily mean 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Some children will need to be looked after for only a day or a week, whilst others will need care every day until they reach adulthood. There is no set pattern, it all depends on the foster carers and what they feel they can offer.
Different types of fostering placements are offered, so that your role as a foster carer is compatible with you and your family life. During your assessment, we’ll help you prepare for these different types of placement and find out which would be best for you.
Many children need care for only a limited time. This could be for a few weeks whilst arrangements are being made for their care, months or even a couple of years. Some children may return home, while others may move to long-term foster carers. Others become adopted or subject to Special Guardianship.
If it is not possible for a child to return to their own family or be adopted, they will need permanent foster care. This enables children to strive in a stable home and for foster carers and their families to develop strong, rewarding relationships with children and young people on a more permanent basis. When a young person turns eighteen in permanent foster care, they may then decide to move on.
Emergency placements often occur as a result of a parent becoming ill and needing hospital care. Emergency care is also vital when a child needs to be removed straight away due to it being deemed unsafe for them to stay at home. Mainly these are just overnight or weekend placements.
Respite care is about looking after a child to support a family in crisis or in specific cases to provide support to full-time foster carers during school holidays. This may be for days or weeks, while support is given to the family or alternative plans are made.
There are many children and young people with special needs who are living at home with their families. Many of which, would benefit enormously from a short break away from the family home and environment.
This scheme allows just that with disabled children staying with approved Family Link (short break) carers. The break can be flexible depending on the needs of the child.
The break gives the child opportunities to widen their horizons, make new friends and enjoy different experiences. For the rest of the family, the break simply allows them to have a rest and perhaps get some shopping done or even go for a walk!
Parent and child placements in foster care are becoming more common. Mainly because of the benefits associated with the parent and child being placed in a safe family environment. The parent receives the support and guidance needed to be a good parent, through assessments and support from foster carers and social workers.
With many parents needing extra support to care for their child, we need more people in Bridgend County Borough to come forward to support a family.
Essentially, these specialist placements can help a parent develop the confidence to take on the responsibility of caring for their child independently. It offers families the best chance of staying together.
Whilst living with foster families, the parent will undergo assessments and meetings with social workers who will monitor the child’s health and welfare.
Primarily, the scheme is aimed at providing a short-term foster placement for a parent and child.
The placement usually lasts for 12 weeks while the parent’s ability to protect and care for the child is assessed and monitored.
Bridge the gap is designed to provide specialist short term placements to help children and young people with complex needs and challenging behaviours.
Transitional foster carers will provide a holistic care package for children who have a variety of needs. This can include attachment issues, multiple placement breakdowns and difficulties with learning and education.
The transitional foster carers will provide short term, 24/7 foster placements for up to 24 weeks.
Following a successful placement, the young person will be ready to be matched into a long term arrangement that aligns with their needs and ambitions. This could be a long term fostering placement, returning to their birth family or an independent living environment.