When a child or young person cannot return home, decisions have to be made to find a permanent family for the child. These placements will usually last until the young person leaves care at 18 years of age.
Long term placements include:
Short term foster carers provide a temporary place to stay until the child can return home to their own family, move into a longer-term fostering placement or an adoptive family is found, assessment or remand. This is not intended to provide a long term placement for the child or young person. A short term placement can last for a few weeks.
These placements are for children and young people who need intensive input not only from the carers but from other professionals. The idea of these placement is to help the young person develop pro-social learning skills to help them change/modify there behaviours which are causing them to get into trouble or bringing them to the attention of other agencies etc. The children may have a range of complex and challenging needs and have experienced numerous placement disruptions or significant stays in residential or secure care. These placements will last until the young person’s behaviours are modified or the placement changes into a permanent placement.
Respite involves children living with their own family or foster carers, but having short stays with another foster family to give their family/main carers a break. At Caldecott Fostering Service, this usually involves looking after a child or young person who is placed with our foster carers for a weekend or one to two weeks.
This type of placement is provided to a mother and/or father and their children where foster carers can provide support and guidance to the parent(s) and help them develop parenting skills.
Parent and child or more likely, mother and baby fostering can be complex and challenging and the foster carer requires skills and qualities such as:
This kind of fostering placement is often an alternative to a mother and baby unit and usually results from a court referral, but not always. A baby’s social worker may make the decision for a parent and child fostering placement, if the parent is not coping well and needs extra help but does not have an extended family they can live with. The parent might not necessarily be a young person.
The Fostering Service is able to provide a supervised contact service at Caldecott House, or off site if agreed with the local authority. The aim of this service is to make supervised contact less stressful particularly for the children and young people and to ensure that parents are made to feel welcome.