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Types of Fostering

Types of Fostering

There are many different types of fostering; Alpha Plus foster carers don’t always provide just one type of care, they often combine the different types to fit in with their own families and lifestyles or according to the needs of the looked after child.
The type of fostering you provide will be agreed as part of your foster carer assessment and may change as you move through your fostering career.

Respite foster carers give support to fostering and birth families that are in need of a short break for a number of reasons. This often takes place if a child has disabilities, complex needs or challenging behaviour which places extra stress on a family.

Children in short term placements will stay with their foster carers until plans for their future have been made. This can be anything from a few days or, if there are court proceedings in progress, up to two years or more.

Long Term foster care is when children are unable to return to live with their birth family. In these circumstances, many younger children are placed for adoption. However, it may be more appropriate, for some children, to remain in long term foster care until they reach adulthood. Children in long term foster care become a part of the foster carer’s family.

Bridging is caring for a child until they move to permanent or adoptive families and often begins as a short term placement. The tasks of bridging carers are similar to those for short term foster carers. In addition, foster carers will be supporting children to move to permanent families.

Parent and child placements are generally short term placements made in order to assess a parent’s ability to care for their child. Carers are often expected to complete ongoing records, observations and specified monitoring. Alpha Plus will only place a parent and child with experienced foster carers who have been specially trained or who it is felt has the skills, through their own experience, to support such a placement.