Friday 23 December 2016
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.
National Fostering Group pre-approves foster carers – both couples and individuals – for emergency foster care. If you think you’re able to provide a calming, safe place to stay at short notice, read on.
Emergency foster care placements provide short-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, 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 long-term home is found (perhaps through adoption or family and friends’ care). Emergency 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.
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.
Whatever age children are when they are removed from their homes, they can be frightened and anxious. Could you help them to feel calmer and cared for? If you choose to apply to become a short-term foster care you are likely to have the opportunity to play a helping hand in the lives of young people when they most need it.
If you work full time you may also be able to help by offering respite foster care at weekends or during holidays – we can arrange many types of fostering placements. For more information about emergency foster care or to apply to be a carer, please contact our friendly team.