What is Emergency Foster Care?

Many children and young people are brought into foster care because of emergencies. This is often due to situations of risk where the need for urgent action is required to make a child safe.

What is emergency foster care?

There are many reasons children are brought into care and often this can be with short notice and with little time to prepare. Emergency foster care is put in place when a young person has to be removed from their home immediately. They then will be brought to live somewhere safe and stable with a foster family whilst problems at home are investigated.

Due to the nature of the child being taken into care, emergency foster care will not give foster parents the opportunity to meet or find out a huge amount of information about a young person before they are brought to your home.

Emergency foster care can last just one night, a few days or may even turn into a lengthier short-term arrangement. Sometimes these placements can develop into longer periods of a few months, or longer-term, depending on family circumstances.

What do emergency foster parents do?

Being removed from your home can be very upsetting for a child, even if they were removed for their own safety. You will need to be able to provide a warm, welcoming and stable home environment for them.

Emergency foster parents need to be prepared for a phone call day or night, as these types of arrangements can be made at any time. Many children who need emergency foster care will be brought to you by a local authority duty social worker or even the police.

For a child to be taken into care at an emergency level will likely mean they are very scared and may have their own challenging behaviour due a difficult home life. Compass work with our emergency foster carers to prepare for emergency arrangements and offer support through this transition period.

If you think you have what it takes to be an emergency foster parent, please get in touch with us. We are looking for resilient, caring people to join the Compass family.


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  • You must have a spare room in order to foster.