There are many different types of fostering and one of the more common types is short-term foster care. Also referred to as temporary foster care this arrangement can work from a couple of weeks to a couple of years although a year is more typical. Such transitional placements are typically for children and young people who are waiting for their permanent placement to be determined.
Short-term care often begins as emergency fostering when a sudden trauma in families results in children needing immediate placement and time is of the essence. The circumstances that led to the child or young person needing help varies but the underlying similarity is often traumatic such as an accident, a death, or violence in the home.
A breakdown in families can result in the need for a short break allowing the birth parents to deal with the situation. It can also be a solution while a child in care is being adopted and the adoption process is still underway. In either of these types of situations, a permanent family is available and the child is simply in the waiting process before he or she can be returned to the regular home or before he or she can join a new permanent family.
Another form of short-term foster care is remand fostering. The young person is on remand and rather than being entered into a custody arrangement, there is the option of being placed with a foster carer who has the special skills to support the young person through this difficult part of life.
Respite care can be for a weekend or a week or month. This is typically a pre-arranged placement and ideally is part of an ongoing agreement to provide continuity in the child’s life. In a family, children can have an overnight stay with grandparents or a holiday visit with an aunt, uncle, and cousins. This gives both the child and the parents a break from each other as well as allowing the child to have a different experience in their world. Short-term fostering and respite care can provide a similar experience for a child or young person who is being looked after.
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In temporary foster care, the child is often aware that this is a stepping stone to a more permanent situation. This can create an atmosphere in the child’s mind that can add insecurity to an already chaotic situation. Patience, nurturing, and stability go a very long way in helping children and young people emerge from a troubled and troubling experience into a successful outcome in life.
While short-term care is not a forever solution for the child, it can provide the type of environment that allows the child to feel that they are part of a larger community of caring people which has their best interest at heart. The local authority becomes in loco parentis and often reaches out to agencies such as Capstone Foster Care to find the right place for the child to live in the short-term.
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.See more articles…