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Short-term fostering

According to fostering statistics, around 100 children and young people enter the foster care system every day in the UK. In a year, this is around 36,000 children. A foster parent can help re-establish a sense of normality during a difficult time for these children.

Understandably, becoming a foster parent is a commitment and one that may not fit within your lifestyle. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t consider fostering. Indeed, short-term fostering can be the best solution for you and many children.

Indeed, the UK requires the services of a short-term foster parent more frequently than those in long-term fostering. Here is everything you need to know about short-term fostering and whether it is the right thing for you.

Types of Fostering
Types of Fostering

What is short-term fostering?

First of all, it is important to understand that there are different types of fostering available, as children’s circumstances can vary greatly. As such, do not let the thought of becoming a long-term foster parent affect your decision. There are many short-term foster care options available. 

Short-term fostering is the most common type of fostering. Unlike long-term fostering, which is frequently permanent, meaning that the child remains with the foster parents until adulthood, short-term fostering is temporary and limited to a maximum of two years. 

When you are a short-term foster parent, you may welcome children for stays as short as a night up to two years in length. In some cases, it may be clear how long a child will stay with you. In other cases, it can be impossible to tell ahead. This is completely dependent on the situation. However, when you want to become a foster parent, the first question you need to ask yourself is how long you can provide foster care for a child. Short-term fostering can sometimes fit better into your life circumstances. 

How to become a short term foster parent

At Match Foster Care, we have developed our assessment process to ensure we can build a relationship with our individual foster parents. We get to understand your situation during the assessment and answer all your questions. 

You will also receive specialist training from our multidisciplinary experts in the West Midlands to help you prepare to become a short-term foster parent. 

We also ensure you understand the allowance you receive for short-term fostering. During the whole stay, the short-term foster parent receives an allowance which is calculated based on the number of foster children in your care and their age. You can refer to our fostering allowance calculator to understand your income as a foster parent. 

Short-term fostering can be life-changing for children who are going through confusing, scary, and traumatic times. As a foster parent, you can be there for them and help them heal. A short-term foster parent is crucial to make a positive difference in the life of a child, fixing their trust in adults and encouraging them to develop their identity in a safe and caring environment. 

Contact us today about short-term fostering and improve the life of a child in need. 

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Match Foster Care FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Temporary fostering is frequent when children’s long-term arrangements need to be sorted. Short-term foster care provides them with the stability and balance they need during a difficult time. 

The core principle of short-term fostering is that the child will be able to go back to their birth family at the end of their stay with a foster parent. As a foster parent, you can ensure the child will come to an environment that is designed to help your foster child develop a sense of identity. This means respecting their hobbies, friendship, race, religion, and gender and giving them a safe space to explore and develop. 

There may be many reasons why a child needs temporary fostering. Some of the most common reasons involve issues within the child’s birth family:

  • There is a significant crisis happening in their birth family, which means that parents or legal guardians are not in a position to look after the child until the crisis is resolved. 
  • The birth parents are incapacitated because of an illness and therefore, their child needs a short-term foster parent. 
  • Proceedings for long-term care are taking place, such as permanent foster care or adoption, and the child requires temporary fostering until those are completed. 
  • A child can come into short-term fostering when they are considered at risk in their birth family or permanent care of abuse and/or neglect. 

Short-term fostering can be highly rewarding. As you provide a child with a safe and stable environment, you allow them to develop their sense of self and explore their identity. This is especially crucial as children in foster care are in need of balance in their life as they try to make sense of confusing times. 

Additionally, your role also includes providing them with a routine, such as going to school, maintaining contact with their friends and birth family when relevant, establishing healthy eating and bedtime habits, etc. The needs of every child vary a lot, which is why the assessment process for becoming a foster parent will also include your availability and your career. 

A short-term fostering placement can vary in duration. However, all short-term placements are temporary. 

Some placements last only a few days or weeks, when the situation that forced the child into fostering can be resolved rapidly. 

Other placements may last several months up to two years before the child can go back to the birth family or to their long-term solution. In the event of adoption, for instance, a child could stay within short-term foster care for months before the proceedings are complete. 

Sometimes, if the situation that has forced the child into foster care can’t be resolved, a child may need to go to permanent fostering.