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How to Choose Which Type of Foster Care Is Right for You

Wednesday 19 October 2016

How to Choose Which Type of Foster Care Is Right for You

Are you trying to decide which type of foster care is right for you? With so many different options available, we know it can be difficult to decide which type to apply for. There are a lot of different factors to consider before you make your final decision so below we focus on some of the main areas to consider to help make your decision easier.

Time and commitment

One of the main factors that will help you decide which type of foster care is right for you is how much time you have available. While full-time work won’t necessarily affect your ability to foster, it can limit the age range of the children you can care for. Younger children for example, may require you to be at home a lot more than if you were taking care of a teenager.

Another time based consideration is how long you want each placement to be. Obviously all placements differ in length so we can never pinpoint exactly how long a placement will last, however there are shorter-term foster care options available. These include remand care, emergency care and short-term foster care.

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Commitment is another major factor to think about. All types of foster care require a high level of commitment, but some are more demanding than others such as looking after a child with more complex needs or accepting remand placements for example.

Special skills and experience

Another thing that can help when you’re trying to decide which type to apply for, is whether you have any special skills or experience. Whilst we provide full training to all our carers, some prior experience can help when considering certain types of foster care.

For example, if you have experience taking care of a child with disabilities you may find becoming a disability carer suits you well. Or perhaps you’re a secondary school teacher who has lots experience with teenagers? If so, teenage placements could be an ideal match for your skillset.

Emergency and remand care

We’ve already touched upon emergency and remand care placements, however, very few people know about this type of valuable foster work.

In the case of emergency placements, you will often need to open up your home to a child with very little notice. You could be called upon at any time, day or night, including weekends. So flexibility is a must. These placements are ideal for those who cannot commit to long-term placements, but who really want to make a difference to a child’s life.

Remand care is a little more complex. It involves providing a safe, loving environment for children awaiting a court date. Rather than being placed into police custody, they are placed within a foster home. You are often responsible for attending any court dates and meetings with solicitors that they may have.

It’s worth keeping in mind that the crimes they are charged with are only alleged and they may not actually be guilty of anything. Therefore, it’s vital our remand carers are able to keep an open mind and provide non-judgemental support to the child in their care at what is undoubtedly a scary time for them.

Overall, there are many different types of foster care, so regardless of your situation and skills, there is always going to be at least one type that suits you. Call us now to find out more or to arrange a home visit to discuss your options.

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Find out if you could be a foster carer
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