What is short-term foster care?
Short-term fostering is a temporary type of foster care, allowing children to experience the safety and stability of a family setting when they’re unable to remain at home.
Short-term placements are the most common type in the UK, so there will always be a need for short-term foster carers to look after and support children during difficult times of transition. It’s perfect for people who enjoy creating strong bonds with many different types of children and playing a part in transforming the lives of them all.
How long is short-term foster care?
Temporary fostering can last anywhere between 1 night and 2 years, but even though your time with the child might be temporary, the impact you have can last forever.
While the young person is in your care, we’ll all be working towards a long-term solution that usually involves getting the child back with their birth family. Depending on the reason why the child is in care, the length of time this can take varies, and in some cases, we see short-term placements turn into long-term foster care.
In every instance though, the final decision will always be what’s best for the child and your family.
Why do children and young people need short-term foster care?
There are a wide number of reasons why children need to be placed into temporary foster homes.
- The sudden illness or passing of a parent.
- The child is considered ‘at-risk’ so they need to live elsewhere while care plans are put in place.
- The child is awaiting adoption or the development of a longer-term plan for their care.
- There has been a family crisis leaving the parents unable to look after their children.
Sometimes a short-term foster carer is needed because a child or young person is awaiting court proceedings or is approaching the age of 18 and about to step into independent adult life. Whatever the reason is though, one thing remains the same – they all need security and a loving family environment.
Short-term fostering pay
At Orange Grove, we like to give all our foster parents a generous foster allowance that’s designed to recognise your professionalism and commitment to transforming children’s lives. We also offer other benefits, such as allowances for birthdays and religious festivals, as well as two weeks paid respite.
Plus you'll have access to our rewards platform where you can find hundreds of discounts to some of your favourite shops, restaurants and family experiences.
The work you do is so important, so it’s only right our short-term foster care pay reflects that.
Will I have to liaise with the birth family?
With short-term foster placements, the end goal is nearly always to get the child back with their birth family. This means you may have frequent contact with or facilitate meetings between the birth parents and your foster child.
What support do short-term foster parents get?
Here at Orange Grove, we believe in relationships and partnerships, and our extensive support package shows that. You’ll have a dedicated social worker and family support worker, alongside access to therapists and education specialists at your fingertips. As well as this, we give generous financial allowances and provide excellent on-going training to help you become the best foster parent you can be.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of short-term foster care?
Short-term fostering is a truly rewarding job. You get to meet different children from different walks of life and impart your knowledge to make a difference. Whether it’s weekly fostering or you look after a child for a couple of years, the bonds you create are incredible. The only disadvantage is that you’ll likely have to say goodbye and part ways with your foster children at some point in time, but there are times when it’s decided the child is best placed to stay in their short-term foster home for longer.
What’s the difference between long-term and short-term fostering?
Short-term foster care is a temporary solution while the child's longer-term care plan is being developed. It can last a couple of nights or a couple of years. Long-term foster care is where a child stays with you on a permanent basis until they reach 18, finish further education or are ready to live independently. Many children come to us on a short-term basis, but many also move into long-term placements if they settle well with their foster family and everyone agrees it’s the right thing to do.
Ready to start your fostering journey?
One of our team is available to talk to you over the phone to answer any of your fostering queries.
You can get in touch by filling out our online enquiry form with any queries that you may have.
Your local office
We have local teams covering most of England. Find your local office today.