Foster Care Types
A little time makes a big difference!
Short Term Foster Care (Respite care)
This involves care provided for regular short stays (e.g. one weekend a month). It gives families a break and provides a positive experience for the child.
Respite carers provide short-term care, from overnights to a couple of nights, or up to a couple of weeks in some cases during school holidays. It is necessary to have regular respite carers for each of our long-term placements where possible so that the children have the opportunity to build relationships with their respite family and have consistency in their (regular) respite.
On occasion, our carers have also provided ‘day respite’ where they will provide care to a child or young person who is unable to attend school for whatever reason.
This is the care of a child for a very short period (not usually more than one month) while decisions are made about long-term care options for the child.
Interim / Restoration Care
Interim care is limited in time, usually overnight to twelve months maximum (depending on the age of the child). At the end of interim care, the child may return to their family or be placed in long-term care.
Interim care may be needed because of:
• An emergency, eg illness or other family crisis
• Intervention by Community Services, where a child is removed from their parents to ensure their safety and well-being.
During interim/restoration care, the carer has an important role in promoting the child’s connection with their birth family.
Long Term Foster Care
This is care for children who cannot live with their families and need a family to grow up in until their family circumstances change or they turn 18. Children in long-term care often have complex physical and/or emotional needs so their carers and our agency work together in decision making about the child. Children in long-term care retain contact with their birth families.
Fostering with a view to guardianship
After establishing a relationship with a child a foster carer can apply, if they wish, to become the child’s guardian until the child turns 18. This is an arrangement that is made by the court if there is adequate evidence that the carer can meet the child’s needs without support from our agency. Under guardianship, the child will still have contact with their birth family and an important role of the guardian is to promote such contact.
Fostering with a view to open adoption
After establishing a relationship with a child a foster carer can apply, if they wish, to adopt the child. This is a permanent arrangement that is made by the court if it is in the best interests of the child and there is adequate evidence that the carer can meet the child’s needs throughout their lifetime without support from our agency. After adoption, the child will still have contact with their birth family and an important role of adoptive parents is to promote such contact.