The duration of fostering placements vary for every child. They can range from short term or emergency placements lasting a few days, to longer term placements lasting years. Children may need foster care from the moment they are born, and some children stay in care up to the age of 18 and beyond. Some children may return to their birth families, others may be fostered until they are ready to live independently and others may move onto adoption. Below we outline some of the different types of care you can provide when you foster with us.
Short term foster care
The most common type of foster placement is called short term foster care. When a child first comes into foster care, they will usually be placed in a short term placement. The fostering team will then try to find a permanent home for them in the future – through long term foster care, adoption or by returning home to their parents. Depending on the child’s circumstances, a short term placement can last from a few days to several years, and as a short term foster carer you can still provide a child with a stable and loving home.
Long term foster care
Some children can’t return to their birth family and may be placed in long term foster care until they are ready to live independently. A family home can provide the security and stability that a child needs to thrive and reach their full potential in life.
Parent and baby
Some new parents – such as very young parents or parents with a disability - have limited support to help them care for their new baby. Parent and baby placements provide a home for both the parent and their child. The foster carer provides supervision, advice and support and works with the parent to help them look after their child independently wherever possible.
Some children need to be looked after for a short period on a regular basis, which is called respite care. This could be for as little as one weekend per month or for a holiday. Respite care can give parents or other foster carers a break or can prevent a breakdown in the family. Some foster carers offer respite care in addition to other short and long term placements whilst others prefer to just offer respite care.
Sibling group fostering
When it's right for the children, we always try to keep sibling groups together. The foster carers need to be approved to foster two or more children of varying ages.
From the age of eighteen, a young person is no longer "in care" or "looked after", but they might carry on living with their former foster carers. This is called a Staying Put arrangement. The council will still provide support to the young person.
Sometimes a child will need to be placed immediately with a carer for a few nights, which is called emergency care. Some foster carers will be specially trained for this kind of placement. If an emergency placement is successful, the child may stay with this carer for a longer period of time.
If you have a spare room, time to give a vulnerable local child, childcare experience and a big heart, we’d love to hear from you.
To find out more about fostering with Brighton and Hove County Council visit:
or call 01273 295444