Emergency fostering is when we need to find a foster placement for a child/children quickly.
Occasionally children will require a foster home immediately and in these situations we contact foster carers who are happy for the child to stay with them until we decide if they can go home or, if this is not possible, until an alternative foster home is found. This type of emergency placement is usually only for a couple of days and nights.
For some children, where we have been working with the family, the move into foster care can be done in a more planned way.
We will place the child with the foster carer for just a short period of time, this can be anything from overnight to a couple of years until we are sure of the child’s future.
During this time we will continue to work with the family to make plans for the child to go home if possible. This may take some time so you’ll need a flexible approach as these foster children could stay for anything from one night to several months while their parents are unable to care for them.
Permanency through fostering
Long term fostering is providing permanency and security to a child until independence.
You’ll be caring for children who, for whatever reason, and despite everyone’s best efforts, are unable to live with their family for the remainder of their childhood.
For a child under eight years of age we would place the children in an adoptive placement but for older children they would be placed in a fostering arrangement.
They require sustained care throughout the remainder of their childhood, they need time to gain trust, confidence, and skills needed to go on and live independently. They will require support from you to maintain links with their birth families.
Relief and respite care
Some children need to be looked after for a few days on a regular basis to give parents or other foster carers an important break or assist during a crisis in the family home. You’ll be providing regular care, looking after children who are normally living at home with their parents or a relative for short periods of time. This would be at weekends or during the holidays.
Relief care is also provided as a short break foster carer, when you provide families with disabled children a break for one weekend a month.
Children with complex needs
The schemes listed below pay more because of the additional skills, experience and training you will need. These schemes are called ‘fee paid fostering’. Full details can be found on the allowances page.
Parent and baby
Some new parents have very limited support and advice available to them to help them care for their new baby. Often these parents do not have the benefit of a stable and supportive home to help them gain the necessary skills to look after their baby. The parent and baby stay together with a foster carer for a short period of time (usually 12 weeks). The foster carer is on hand for supervision, advice and support. The foster carer works with the parent with the aim of helping them acquire the skills to be able to look after their baby independently.
Parent and baby foster carers need to be confident in caring for a baby and be able to work sensitively with a new parent. You will need to have a spare room and one carer be at home.
Helping a new young parent to gain the skills to parent their new born baby is a hugely rewarding thing to do. Parent and baby foster care pays an additional fee on top of the fostering maintenance allowance. See the allowances page for more details.
Children with disabilities
A number of children with disabilities need to be looked after for regular short breaks or for longer periods of time. The children have a wide range of needs; most have a significant learning disability and may also have further needs such as:
- physical disabilities
- complex health needs
- behaviour which can be challenging
You don’t need to have experience of disability to be a disability foster carer, although this would be helpful.
Joseph is 5 years old....his favourite thing is playing in puddles because he loves to feel the splashes. He has poor vision and limited speech which can cause him anxiety and frustration at times.
He loves to laugh and play with others but can find busy environments overwhelming.
Disability fostering can be:
- short term, from a few days up to two years.
- long term, to give a child permanency until they move on to live independently.
Find out more about disability fostering.
Fostering plus is a scheme for children who have more complex needs, possibly because they have had particularly difficult experiences. Find out more about being a foster plus care.
Oxfordshire treatment foster care (OTFC)
This type of foster care is aimed at children who have the most complex emotional, behavioural and educational needs. Find out more about OCC Treatment Foster Care.
Fostering for adoption
Fostering for adoption means fostering babies and toddlers who are likely to need adoption, but who still have a chance of being reunited with their birth family.This involves a someone having dual approval for both fostering and adoption.
If you are interested in becoming a foster carer, register your interest online.