With short-term foster placements you’ll support a child for anything from a couple of nights (but usually a month or two) up to two years. Children need short-term fostering for a wide range of reasons, including looking after them while they’re waiting for their adoption to be finalised or whilst plans are made for their future.
Common reasons include family breakdown or the illness of a parent. But in most cases short term fostering placements are sought because a child has just come into care and more needs to be know about their background before longer term plans can be made.
In most cases, social workers and other authorities work hard behind the scenes to get the family back together. When it’s safe to do so, the child will return to their birth parents. Until that time, they’ll remain with a foster family. It’s usually impossible to say exactly how long a short-term placement will be, but it’s always as short as possible.
Most children come to ACS on a short term placement, but due to the nature of these placement, many develop over time to long term placements, because despite best efforts, returning home or going into adoption just isn't possible for all children.
When we think of short term, we do think up to two years, so although some children stay with their foster family for a shorter period of time, foster parents do make longer term caring committments to children on short term placements.
Most foster parents have the chance to support a number of different children, and many foster parents enjoy this aspect of the work and most rewardingly, often they keep in touch throughout a foster child’s life.
Foster children on short-term placements may have emotional and behavioural issues and they’ll almost certainly be anxious and confused – especially if events have changed their lives suddenly. Having the support of a family who understands their faith and culture can be a huge help at this stressful time.
As a foster parent, your role is to make them feel at home, support them in their daily lives, such as getting them to school and supporting their long-term growth. You’ll also make sure they keep in contact with their birth parents where this is an agreed part of the care plan.
For however long they’re with you, they’ll become part of your life and family. And slowly but surely, you’ll become an important part of theirs.
Are you interested in short-term fostering?
Whether you’re ready to start your journey or just want to chat to an expert, we're here to talk.
Other types of fostering
Can I choose the ethnicity of the child I foster?
Yes you can. As a faith and ethnicity based fostering agency, we aim to place children with families from the same cultural and ethnic background. Sometimes this isn't possible but instead we identify foster parents who can meet the young person's needs with our support and training.
Can I choose which age range or gender I would prefer to foster?
Yes you can. All of our foster parents are able to choose to take a child into their home or not. We will provide you with advice to help you, but the choice is yours. Sometimes our foster families choose a child of a given age to ensure their birth child's place in the family is maintained for example, your eldest remains the eldest in the family. However, most of our foster parents are as open to a wide range of ages and all genders to ensure consistent fostering placements.
How long will I have to wait for my first placement?
This really depends on you and your family. The more open you are to a wide range of children the shorter time you will wait. Some families have children placed within a few days others can wait a few weeks or more depending on circumstance. We will always ensure the match between a family and a child is right, rather than rushing this process. As a new foster parent it's also important to us, that we do all we can to ensure a successful start to your fostering career.
Why choose ACS?
Regular supervision with your very own dedicated social worker
Generous fostering allowance and bonuses
Over 10 languages spoken
Local support where you need it
Small agency with a family feel