Types of fostering

Fostering is looking after a child or young person in your home when they're unable to live with their own families. Children may need temporary care because their parents are ill, have family problems or the child may be abused or neglected.

Some children will require foster care for a few days or weeks, while others may need longer term care.

At Knowsley we offer a range of flexible fostering placements to suit you and your lifestyle.  We will also support you with ongoing training and you will have your own dedicated Social Worker.

Short-Term placementsA little girl with her foster carer looking at flowers

Short-Term placements can be for children of all ages who sometimes return to their own families within a few weeks or months. It can involve providing a place for a child or young person to stay for a few nights in an emergency, or can be for up to several months. Short-Term foster carers provide a home for a child whilst social workers work with and support their family to make positive changes  for the child’s future.

During Short-Term foster placements it is important that everyone involved works closely to support the child until they can either return to their family safely or if this is not possible, move to an alternative longer term  home.

By providing a Short-Term foster care placement you can give a child in an unsettled situation the security they need. Sometimes, our Short-Term foster carers develop bonds with a child and may then decide, if appropriate, to become their Long-Term carer.Young girl with her foster carer

Long-term placements

Long-Term placements are secure and permanent placements, providing a home and family environment to a child until they reach adulthood. Though a  child may not be able to return to their own family they may still need to maintain links with them, so adoption is not suitable.

Emergency Placements

Emergency placements offer a child a safe and welcoming home when they need to be taken care of at short notice.  This can often be during unsociable hours.A young boy plays a board game with his foster carer

Respite/Short Break Placements

Respite foster carers look after a child with disabilities or additional needs. This involves caring for the same child at regular intervals, for example a few hours a week or every other weekend. The short breaks provide opportunities for disabled children and young people to temporarily spend time away from their parents or carers. Providing a Respite Placement can be for a day, overnight or weekend and provides an essential opportunity for parents and carers to have a break and allows a child with a disability to widen their experiences of activities along with giving them the opportunity to meet new people. Respite foster care is pre-planned and provides invaluable support to disabled children and their families who often find that they all benefit from a break.Siblings with their foster carer

Caring for Siblings

Placing two or more siblings together means that family members are not split up and cared for separately. Being in foster care can often be a scary time for a child and keeping brothers and sisters together helps them feel more secure.
 

Parent and Child PlacementsA foster carer smiles alongside a young mother and her child

This is a specialist type of care and involves a young parent and child; usually a mother and her new baby, living with a foster carer when they need extra support and care. Our parent and baby carers offer parental advice and guidance to the young parent to enable them to learn and develop their parenting skills. This is a time limited placement to enable an assessment to be completed usually within court proceedings.

"Fostering is about the little things making a big diffference"