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Why Matching is So Important in Fostering

Why does the matching process matter so much in foster care? There are numerous compelling reasons, and we're here to share them with you. Keep reading to find out.

August 16 2023 - 3 min read

Foster care is incredibly important as it provides vulnerable children with a stable, loving home, while their own family are not able to care for them.

There are many different types of foster care, from emergency fostering to long-term fostering. Each is just as important as the last, and each involves an incredibly careful matching process.

As a new foster parent or somebody considering a career in fostering, you might wonder about the matching process and why it is so important. Matching is crucial in foster care – it allows every child to get matched with the right foster parents, who can meet their individual needs. This, in turn, creates a more stable home for the child.

What is foster care matching?

In essence, foster care matching means matching a child to the right foster family. Lots of different factors are taken into account during this process, from the location of the foster family and the foster parents’ skills and experience to the needs of any other children living in their home, and so much more.

At Orange Grove, we have an experienced team who look at every single referral we receive to see if we have a foster family who could meet the child’s needs.

Our referrals teams also have great relationships with our families, so they’re able to easily identify children that might suit your family, and work closely with you and your social worker if they have a potential match.

Learn more about the matching process here

Why foster care matching is so important

1) An easier transition

Children in foster care go through a lot of disruption. Whatever has happened in their lives, they have experienced massive change, which often takes a toll on their emotional well-being.

As a fostering agency, we don’t want to add any more stress or disruption. We want to help find them a warm, loving home with one of our families where feel safe and comfortable.

With a robust matching process, this is far likelier to happen, meaning the child will go through a much easier transition.

2) For both parties to feel comfortable

It’s important for both the foster parent and the child in care to feel comfortable around each other. While this might take some time, it happens much sooner when expertly matched.

By taking the needs of both the foster parent and child into consideration, we can make a harmonious match where everyone feels comfortable.

3) To ensure the foster parent is capable

Every child will have a unique story that has led them to be in care. Therefore, looking at what we know about the child and their history, and finding a foster parent with the skills to help this young person heal from these past experiences is imperative.

As well as varying physical and emotional needs, there may also be specific training that’s required to provide the relevant care, for example, parent and child fostering.

4) For a better chance at a stable and long-lasting foster placement

The safety and well-being of our children and foster families are our number one priority, and so we’d never put a foster parent forward to care for a child unless we are confident in the match and their ability to meet the needs of a child for as long as they need them to.

Start your fostering journey here

Download our brochure and discover everything you need to know about fostering with Orange Grove.

Types of foster care

As part of your journey to foster, you’ll need to consider which types of foster care are most likely to suit you, your family and your lifestyle.

Emergency Fostering

Emergency fostering happens quickly after an emergency – often late at night and at weekends. With it being so soon after a traumatic experience for the child, the foster parent must know how to handle heightened emotions well.

Long-term Fostering

Long-term fostering involves caring for a child for many years – often until the child becomes an adult. It suits foster parents who want to establish a strong connection with a child and help them grow into the best adult they can be.

Short-term Fostering

Short-term fostering ranges anywhere from a single night to two years. This might be the best option if you are new to foster care.

Respite Fostering

Respite fostering is a short-term type of foster care that happens when the child’s foster family needs a little time to rest and recharge. It usually happens at weekends or over the school holidays and is planned well in advance.

A great option for somebody who wants to make a difference but isn’t able to commit to full-time fostering.

Remand Fostering

Remand fostering happens after a child has been remanded by a court. It takes speciality training for a foster parent to do this type of fostering. The length depends on how long the child waits for the court date.

Each type of fostering comes with its benefits, challenges, fostering allowance, and training requirements. If you are unsure what fostering you want to do, get in touch with us today. We’ll happily talk to you about some of the different types of foster care, and which may be best for you.

As you can see, matching is crucial in foster care. It allows children to live with families that are perfect for their needs, helping them grow and flourish into the best version of themselves.