Long term or permanent fostering
Long term foster carers
If a child is unable to return to the care of their birth family, but adoption is not appropriate for that child, long term foster carers may need to be found to care for them.
Long term foster carers will normally care for a child for a longer period of time than a short term carer, often through to independence. Children who need long term fostering are likely to be older children (not usually younger than 7 years old). These older children may benefit from keeping in regular contact with their brothers, sisters, parents and wider family.
Children in long term placements
Children in long term placements may stay with their foster carers until they leave home to live independently. However, it may be that the situation changes, and a child might return to the care of their parents earlier than expected.
The benefits of long term foster care
Time to feel a real member of the family, to learn, to feel cared for, to feel encouraged and in a safe and stable family home.
Time to build attachments, have trust in someone looking out for them and encouraging their ambitions, just like all parents should do for their own children.
Time to feel settled, safe and where possible, have consistent, positive support to keep in touch with their birth family.
Time to builds a positive sense of identity, to find out about their past and to better cope with the big changes to come in their lives.
Time to settle in school, to move on to employment or be better prepared to move back to their family or to live independently
Fostering families – Secure placements
Long term fostering allows children and young people to live with a family where they can feel secure and experience a stable family environment, while maintaining contact with their birth family where that’s right for them.
Foster families who can open their homes to these children right the way through to independence are currently being sought across the UK.