Different types of fostering

There are many different types of fostering you can choose to specialise in, each bringing different challenges and rewards. Once you've made the important decision to foster, you need to think about the kind of fostering that's right for you, your family and your circumstances. We'll help you do this during our assessment process.

All children who come into foster care are different and with different circumstances - some need placing in an emergency, for respite, or for a short time, while others need a long term placement.

We urgently need more foster carers to look after Kirklees children, especially those who can care for brothers and sisters, older children and teenagers.

A boy smiling

Short term fostering

Short term fostering placements can last anything from a few months to over two years. Children and young people in short term placements need support until they return to their families or move to longer term planned placements, including adoption.

In short term fostering, a foster carer is relied upon to provide a safe, secure place to live while a child carries on their day to day life, continuing to attend their own school and see their friends and family wherever possible. Children often have regular contact with their birth families and a key responsibility of foster carers is to support this contact for their fostered child.

Children who need this short term care are across the age range, from babies up to teens.

A girl smiling

Long term fostering

Long term placements can have massive benefits for the child, keeping them closer to their friends, and allows a child or young person to maintain contact with their birth family if it is felt to be in their best interest. This may only be limited contact, but it maintains a link with the child's parents which may be important to them or to their development.

Children who need long term foster families tend to be school-aged upwards. Unfortunately the older the child, the more difficult it is to find them a permanent home. For sibling groups and children with physical, learning or behavioral issues, their chances are further diminished.

Sometimes, we are unable to find local, long term foster families for children. This means children have to face the added upheaval of being moved around, possibly away from their family, school and friends. Experience has shown us that children who are moved out of their local area may find it harder to build new friendships and long-standing relationships.

Long-term fostering allows a child to grow up in a safe, secure environment, until they're young adults and ready to live independently.

A boy and girl smiling

Brothers and sisters

It's really important, where possible, for brothers and sisters to stay together and be placed in the same fostering household when they come into care. For many foster children, the relationship with their brothers and sisters is what they value most.

Our aim is always to place siblings together and we work really hard to find foster carers who can offer a home where the children can be kept together. Sadly, this isn't always possible and we need more foster families who have the time and room to care for brothers and sisters.

If children are split up when they go into foster care, this can be the most painful aspect of them being placed in care. No two situations are ever the same and siblings can come into foster care at different times. When this happens, the likelihood is that they will remain separated for the rest of their childhood. This can create a real feeling of loss, so where possible, it is always desirable that contact be kept up between siblings.

Foster carers play an important role in facilitating regular contact between siblings.

A foster carer hugging a boy

Older children and teenagers

Many people have pre-conceived ideas about what fostering older children and teenagers is like, some think they might be difficult to control or that they'll be too much trouble. It's true that most of the children in care have had various problems, but that's not the same thing as being badly behaved. Some have been the victim of neglect and abuse and others have had to go into care because a parent has died or has had to go into hospital.

Fostering teenagers isn't without its challenges. Unsurprisingly, they tend to want to make sense of what's happened to them which often means foster carers end up being a sounding board for their frustrations. Some struggle to get used to having boundaries, because they've never had this before.

There are many positives to fostering teenagers, our foster carers tell us that if you invest time in these young people, listen to them, support and encourage them, in time you can build good relationships and really help them turn their lives around.

Supported Lodgings

Supported lodgings is an alternative to fostering and involves you being assessed as a host for a vulnerable young person. There is a lower level of commitment as the young people are generally aged between 16 and 21 years old. They need their own bedroom in your home and commitment from you to help, support and be there for them, to encourage them to do well, to pass on your experience and life skills which will prepare them to live independently.

Remand fostering

Remand foster carers offer safe family accommodation for alleged young offenders from 10 years of age while they are awaiting trial, sentencing or when they are released early from custody to serve part of their sentence in the community.

Getting the right care and support is critical to helping young people who were, or are about to be involved in the criminal justice system. Remand fostering is an effective and rewarding type of foster care which has been proven to reduce custodial sentences and re-offending rates.

Remand foster carers come from all walks of life but they have certain qualities such as empathy for young people with complex needs, are resilient, patient and non-judgemental.

Short break care

Short break care would be to care for a disabled child in your home a few nights a month, and sometimes longer in school holidays, if this is something that fits in with your family and circumstances.

The short break scheme gives disabled children and young people new, enjoyable and fun experience with a different family.

Parent and child

We're looking for two different types of carers as we further develop our parent and child fostering scheme. In these placements the child may be a new born baby or toddler.

As an assessment carer you will play a significant role in assessing a young parent's ability to look after their child. This scheme provides young parents the opportunity to evidence that they're able to care for their child.

As a support carer your role will be to work with young parents who may have initially had difficulty caring for their child. An assessment has been undertaken and it's been agreed that with supportive carers, this parent will be able to look after and meet all their child's needs.

Care if they're alone and seeking asylum

We're currently working hard to put processes and packages in place to develop a scheme to recruit foster carers for unaccompanied asylum seeking children. We will continue to update information here as more details become available and the scheme is finalised.

If this is something you are interested in we would love to hear from you. We can advise you on where we're at and take your details to keep you further informed, for this please contact our fostering recruitment team.

Please Contact us to chat and find out more.