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Long-Term Fostering

There are several variations in the types of fostering and sometimes one type can be transformed into another type. Emergency can become short-term which can become long-term fostering which can begin any time after the child is born and last until the child reaches leaving age, which is typically 18. Children rarely begin by being placed in permanent care. Children go into care with the expectation that they will return home once the circumstances that caused them to be in foster care have been remedied.

If the situation cannot be remedied, a court order is issued giving the local authority legal responsibility. When local authorities become the guardian for the child, an agency such as Capstone Foster Care matches the child with foster parents where the child or young person will be looked after and receive the stability and affection that allows them to feel secure and loved.

One question that often arises is why the child is placed in long-term foster care rather than being adopted. The reason is that it has been deemed that it is better for the child to keep in contact with and visit his or her birth parents. This can happen for a variety of reasons ranging from cultural to the child’s strong desire to maintain contact. Even though the contact might be limited it maintains a connection between the child and the birth parent or parents. In adoption, the adoptive parents can have exclusive parental rights and the link between the child and the birth parents may be severed.

In becoming a foster carer, you become part of the Capstone team which works to make the best match between you and the child who will become part of your family. Once social workers find a good match between a child and your foster family, where possible, they will discuss the placement with you and give you and the child a chance to meet each other and become acquainted. This allows both of you to see if this is the best placement. When foster parents become long-term guardians, Capstone Foster Care offers support and help and a supervising social worker is always there to work with you and your special child.

As foster carers, you are aware that sometimes short-term placements can turn into long-term care. When local authorities make the decision to place children in long-term foster care, the first step is to make the transition as easy as possible. If a child has been placed with you as a short-term placement and circumstances change so that the child now requires long-term care, there is a great deal to be said for the continuity of the same home environment for the child. You and the child already have a relationship and you know each other which makes the job a lot easier. You will be able to see your foster daughter grow into a woman or your foster son become a man. While you did not adopt the child, the relationship is as close as if you did.

If you would like to register your interest, or simply talk to someone further, please call Capstone Foster Care on 0800 012 4004 or simply click here.

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