Short-term fostering

Sometimes, short-term foster care is required in the interim before children can be moved to a longer-term family. Foster carers like you can help by giving children the care and attention they need as they settle into their temporary home and prepare for their next move.

What children need from short-term foster care

Babies, children and young people arrive in short-term foster care for various reasons. They might be at risk from harm at home, for example, or their parents have health or addiction problems, or are temporarily unable to look after them.

This temporary foster care arrangement ensures they are in a safe environment while discussions take place about their future. This will be to either return to their families or be placed with long-term foster carers or adopters.

During their stay with you – which could be two days to two years – they will probably experience a range of emotions and reactions to their situation. They will need to feel welcomed into a safe and secure environment.

In cases where a judge decides a child is to be adopted or reunified with the parents, they will need to make a transition into this new situation with help from their foster carer.

What you get from short-term fostering

Short-term fostering can be rewarding, as carers play a major role in helping lots of children through difficult times. It is the most common type of carer, particularly for newly approved carers.

Children sometimes start as a short-term and stay for months or years with same foster family; it’s completely up to you what type of foster carer you want to be.

You might be expected to liaise with professionals, birth parents and adoptive parents to make sure the child can process and adjust to the changes in their lives.

Our short-term foster carers don’t do this alone: National Fostering Group provides excellent support and training. You have a dedicated Supervising Social Worker who is backed by an experienced local team, access to 24/7 advice and excellent training delivered in your area.

If you think this type of fostering would suit you, please enquire now.

Experiences of short-term fostering

When foster carer Carol first met little Ryan, a boy with Down’s and other issues, she didn’t think she’d be able to meet all his needs. What began – as she was expecting – as an interim stay swiftly changed pace when she – and the whole family – fell in love with him at the first meeting.

The judge had ruled that it wasn’t in Ryan’s best interests to go back to his birth family, so the plan was that the local authority would find him a long-term home.

However, when he experienced a serious illness, Carol knew that she wanted him as a permanent member of the family. This short-term stay ended in adoption! Read the full version of Ryan and Carol’s short-term fostering story.

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