If you’re considering becoming a foster carer, it’s important to understand the different types of fostering. There are many different types of foster care that are available at Compass, which are completely dependent on a child or young person’s individual needs or circumstances.
There are a lot of other crucial things to consider when deciding which fostering option is right for you, like your skillset, lifestyle or family. For example, there are certain types of foster care that would be better suited for carers who specialise in that area, whereas others would be better suited for those who carry a variety of different skills and experience.
Here at Compass Fostering, we take special care to ensure that we can support each child and young person’s specific needs. Therefore, we provide comprehensive training and support to all of our foster carers so that they can offer the best care available to their child or young person.
Short term fostering
One of the most sought after types of fostering in the UK is short term fostering. This arrangement occurs when a child is in need of support for a short period of time, ranging from a few days to a couple of years. Short term fostering is relatively similar to emergency fostering and is always temporary until the child can return to their birth family or a permanent arrangement is made for them.
In many instances, a child or a young person may be brought into foster care due to unforeseen emergencies. Emergency fostering often happens with very short notice, with little time to prepare. The placement can last for a night or even a few weeks, with the potential to turn long term depending on family circumstances.
Respite foster care is when foster children take a short-term stay with another foster family in order to their birth family or primary foster carer a break. Respite fostering usually only occurs for a couple of days, so that foster carers are given the chance to rewind and not become overwhelmed. Respite fostering is extremely valuable if the foster family is experiencing difficulties.
Long term fostering
Another common fostering option is long term fostering, which is where foster children remain with their foster family for an extended period of time. This is an ideal option for many children and young people in care, as it provides them with the opportunity to experience a secure and loving home. Long term fostering is also a great alternative for adoption.
Therapeutic fostering is an arrangement for children or young people who have experienced significant neglect or trauma and would benefit from therapeutic care. During this placement, foster carers will assist in the healing process for the child under their care using skills from an enhanced training programme provided by Compass.
Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC)
Currently across the UK, there is a major shortage of fostering families who can offer unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) a safe refuge. Many of these children have travelled for miles to escape horrific incidents in their home country and will require additional support due to their heightened vulnerability.
Parent and child fostering (P&C)
During a parent and child fostering arrangement, a mother and/or father and their child(ren) will live with a foster carer while they are unable to look after their child themselves. This can occur for a variety of different reasons, and our foster carers will be responsible for helping the parents develop their parental skills in a warm, nurturing family environment.
Step through fostering
Compass believes that all children and young people deserve a secure family home, which is why we developed a step through programme. Step through fostering is where a child will transition from one of our residential homes to live with a foster family, which we believe has the potential to drastically improve their lives.
Disability and additional needs fostering
At Compass we offer specialist training and support for foster carers who can offer their home and time to look after a child with disabilities. These can range from physical disabilities to learning difficulties and other complex health needs such as autism and ADHD. While some may refer to these children as having ‘special needs’, it’s important to note that this can be seen as offensive terminology, as people with disabilities have the same right to having their needs met as anyone else.
Staying Put arrangements are for young people in care who have established strong attachments with their foster carers, as it enables them to continue living under their care after they turn 18. The Staying Put arrangement helps to elevate some of the pressure that young people may have about becoming independent if they aren’t ready to, and they can continue to access support.
What is kinship care?
Kinship care occurs when parents are unable to provide adequate care for their children and their family members or friends step in to help rather than foster carers. Kinship care arrangements are often informal, but many of them involve varying degrees of state involvement or oversight.
If you’d like more information about the different types of fostering, or if you have any questions about how to become a foster parent, feel free to get in touch with us today. Our team of friendly experts will be happy to answer you.