What to expect from emergency fostering

emergency fostering 2

23/12/2016 12:00am

Want to know more about emergency fostering? At NFA, we have a number of foster carers who are approved for emergency foster care but we’re always looking for additional couples and individuals who can provide a calming, safe place to stay at short notice. This post gives a basic overview of what is involved in emergency foster care to help you decide if it’s something you’d like to pursue. 

What is emergency fostering?

Emergency foster care placements provide shorter-term care for infants and babies who may need somewhere to stay at short notice. These children may be entering care because their home environment is unsafe or perhaps because their parents or carers are suffering from physical or mental health problems.

Circumstances vary but children may have been removed from their parents because of drug or alcohol misuse issues or because they are having a difficult time or are temporarily unable to cope. Individuals can also come into emergency foster care due to unexpected bereavements.

Emergency foster care ensures children have somewhere safe to stay while care proceedings take place or an alternative longer term home is found, perhaps through the adoption process or family and friends’ care. Placements can last days or weeks and sometimes months or longer. This means you may need to take on a transitional role, preparing the child and their future carers for their lives together.

What you need to know about emergency foster care

Emergency foster carers have a very important part to play in helping children to feel safe and secure at what is likely to be a stressful and difficult time for them. If you are the type of person who can provide calm and reassuring support to a child in need, you may find this type of fostering particularly rewarding.

The children who enter emergency foster care often have additional needs such as displaying challenging behaviours, or having physical or learning disabilities. Young babies may be suffering from substance withdrawal and require extra care and soothing. In cases where children are to be adopted or parents are working towards reunification, you will have a key position in helping the child to understand and prepare for any changes. This is likely to involve meeting with future carers as well as attending meetings and assessments.

Short term fostering opportunities

Here at the NFA we work with foster carers to arrange many types of fostering placements including short and longer term care. If you choose to apply to become a short term fosterer you are likely to have the opportunity to play a helping hand in the lives of young people when they most need it. Whatever age children are when they are removed from their homes, they can be frightened and anxious; could you help them to feel more calm and cared for? If you work full time you may also be able to help by offering respite foster care at weekends or during holidays.

If you would like more information about emergency foster care, please contact our friendly team.