Fostering is offering a safe and stable home for children who are unable to live with their parents or guardians. It occurs in situations when children are at risk, for instance when a teen mother doesn’t want her newborn or when a young is abused by her stepfather. It is where fostering comes into play. Placements can last for a few days, months, or even years and allow kids to live in a caring, loving and supportive home environment. Also, whenever possible, the kids return to their real family. However, if they aren’t able to do so, other plans such as adoption or long-term fostering are made available for them.
Types of Fostering
- Emergency Fostering: There are times when a kid needs care and attention due to unforeseen circumstances. For example- if his/her lone parent is ill and there’s no one to take care of him/her. In such cases, a foster parent will need to take care of the child till the time his/her parent gets physically well.
- Short -term Fostering: Fostering children for a brief period of time is known as short term fostering. In this type, a foster carer will offer a temporary place to the child until he/she can return to his/her family. There are situations in which the foster child cannot be sent to the biological family. In such cases, he/she resides in foster care until an appropriate long term placement option is made available to them.
- Long-term Fostering: Many a time kids will not be able to go back to their own families for years, if at all. It is here when long-term fostering plays the role of taking care of such children by offering them a stable environment where they can feel safe and secure.
- Short break or Respite Care Fostering: Also known as ‘shared care’, this type of fostering children includes a variety of different kinds of part-time care. Respite caregivers offer short-term care to the child, anything for a few hours every week to a couple of weekends in a month. This, in turn, gives a ‘short break’ to parents or full-time foster carers so that they can rest and recharge.
- Child and Parent Placement: This allows parents with young kids to develop parenting skills in the presence of trained foster parents or carers.
- Specialized or Medical Fostering: There are many kids in foster care who have gone through traumatic stress of neglect, abuse etc. Some children also might have medical conditions and need special care. For such children, a foster parent will provide specialized care to help them heal so that they can start living a normal life again.
- Remand Fostering: Remand fostering is taking care of kids who are awaiting court proceedings.
- Support Care: There are numerous schemes which help prevent young children from coming into the care system by providing their birth families support before problems escalate to a point where the families can no longer manage.
- Concurrent Care: Many kids in foster care are provided with concurrent parents who have the potential to adopt them in the future.