Emergency foster care
Where children need somewhere safe immediately, and the placement with foster carers is often made on the day the placement is requested.
Respite foster care
Where foster carers look after the same child on a regular basis, maybe 1 or 2 weekends a month, to support the child to continue to live with their family. Respite care is also used to support other foster families to care for a child that is placed with them.
Short-term foster care
Where carers look after children while plans are made for the child’s future. Although, called short-term this can be for anywhere from a few days up to 2 years while the child’s family situation is assessed, court processes are completed, and decisions made.
Long-term foster care
Where a child lives within the foster family until the age of 18 years. Sometimes, they will stay beyond the age of 18 years into their early adult years and this is called a staying put arrangement.
We recognise that at different periods in their lives people can offer different things in relation to fostering. If you feel you may have the time to offer any of the above types of foster carer, at Fitzgerald Fostering we would like to hear from you. We are always happy to help you consider how fostering may fit into your life.
Fostering or Adoption?
Fostering is very different from adoption. When fostered a child’s parents/guardian retain some level of parental responsibility for the child. This is true even if the Local Authority have obtained a Care Order through the courts. Where a Care Order is in place the parental responsibility is shared between the Local Authority and the parent/guardian. However, with a Care Order the Local Authority can override decisions made by the parent/guardian in relation to the child if it is in the child’s best interests to do so.
Adoption is when someone becomes the lawful parent of a child and in doing so, they hold full parental responsibility for that child. In this instance birth parents/guardians no longer have any legal responsibility or rights in relation to that child. Rather the adoptive parent becomes the legal parent.