Long Term Fostering

Long term foster care provides children who are unable to return home, with a stable, loving family environment where they can stay until they reach adulthood.

Sometimes, a child may stay with the foster family who cared for them while they were going through court proceedings. Other times, arrangements will be made to help them get to know their new, long term foster family.

Growing up in one foster home offers a great deal of stability to a child and helps them to develop a real sense of belonging within the family and wider community.

Why Children Need Long Term Foster Care?

A child may come into foster care for a number of reasons, including neglect, abuse or family illness. During care proceedings, the local authority will work with the family to support the child to return home.

Sometimes it’s not always safe for a child to return home, particularly if there are concerns around their health and wellbeing. In these cases, a long term foster care placement may be best for the child.

How Long Can a Child Stay in Foster Care?

Depending on the age of the child coming into care, a long term foster placement can last up to 18 years.

Some young people will continue to live with the family after they turn 18 on a staying put arrangement, helping them to transition into adulthood.

Role of a Foster Parent

As well as the typical day-to-day duties, foster parents will also need to:

  • Promote positive contact with birth family throughout the child’s life, ensuring they remain professional and non-judgemental towards them at all times.
  • Support the child with their educational achievements by working closely with teachers, encouraging excellent school attendance and helping with homework.
  • Play an important role in their life story work by collating and recording all their special memories, so they’re able to make sense of their childhood once they’ve grown up and moved on.
  • Be able to talk sensitively about the child’s past and why they’re living in foster care.

Long term foster parents get to witness a child flourish into a young adult, which can be hugely rewarding. Often, they become part of the family and remain in contact for years ahead.

Long Term Fostering vs Adoption

Long-term fostering provides children with the stability of a single foster family right through to adulthood.

However, unlike the adoption, the children remain the legal responsibility of the local authority and so foster parents may need to seek permission for things like holidays, haircuts, school trips and more.

Long Term Fostering Allowance

Foster parents receive a generous weekly fostering allowance, which includes a child allowance and a professional fee for their hard work and commitment.

We also offer other benefits, such as holiday, birthday and religious festival allowances, plus a new start-up placement payment.

View our fostering allowances >

Take Your First Step

If you’re interested in becoming a foster parent and would like to learn more, then we’d love to hear from you. Simply fill in our online form and one of our friendly fostering advisors will be in touch.