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Placement Types

Types of Foster Placements

Children and young people in need

The life experiences of many of the children and young people cared for by Archway Care have had a deep impact on them. They may have suffered neglect, abuse or trauma and, as a result, he or she may well have developed emotional and/or behavioural difficulties. In addition, children and young people in need frequently enter foster care in an emergency situation and with very few personal belongings and, clearly, separation from family and friends under these circumstances is traumatic. But regardless of the events which have led to the decision to remove the child or young person from their birth family, they will always need high levels of support and care to cope with their experiences.

There are various types of fostering arrangements and Archway Care works with both short and long term foster placements as well as parent and child placements.

Short term

A short term fostering arrangement can last from anything between one day and two years. The aim of these placements is to provide a safe placement for a child or young person while assessment for long term plans are being developed by the local authority. Intensive work is frequently undertaken with the child or young person during this period to prepare them for either returning home or moving to long term adoption or foster care. Short term placements can arise at very short notice and sometimes with minimal background information to pass on to the foster carer. One practical difference between short term and long term fostering is that two same-gender sibling children can share a bedroom, with the permission of the placing authority, whilst in short term placement.

Emergency

Emergency placements are always at short notice and are required to facilitate the immediate safety of children, young people and sibling groups.

Long term and permanent placements

Long-term placements are generally pre-planned and can take some months to arrange, confirm and complete. The aim of these placements is to offer long-term and stable care arrangements for children and young people until they reach 18 years of age or when they move on to independent living. (This maybe 19 years of age for a young person with a disability). These placements are for children and young people who cannot return to live with their parent or extended family for various reasons. We always require children and young people in long-term care to have their own bedroom.

Parent and child placements

Parent and child placements are provided for a parent (sometimes both parents) and baby or young child to ensure that they are able to remain together safely in the longer term in a nurturing relationship. The carer’s observations during these placements can contribute to the formal written assessment of the birth parent’s ability to meet the needs of their child. In a parent and child placement foster carers are there to offer parents advice, guidance and support in the parenting role and co-operate with any ongoing assessment if this is required, including written reports. A minimum of one year’s fostering experience is needed, either with Archway Care or a previous agency, prior to becoming involved with this type of placement. Foster carers must also be prepared to continue with a foster care arrangement for the baby should the birth parent leave the placement.

Respite and short break fostering

These placements are pre-planned and arranged to provide a break for both foster and birth parents who need time out for the long term welfare of the family. During respite care foster carers may be looking after fostered children, birth children or both. It may be a one-off arrangement or regular short stays over a long period involving the same child or children, usually at weekends and during school holidays. Respite care enables foster carers who wish to remain in employment to make a commitment to a child or young person without having to stop working, for new foster carers to gain experience before taking on a longer term placement or for fostering to fit around other family and life commitments.

Bridging

Bridging foster placements are shorter term placements which provide temporary foster care for children and young people in need who are simultaneously being prepared for moving on to adoption or into long-term foster care. These placements are also established to help prepare children and young people for their return to their birth family where this is a viable option.

Sibling placements

Archway Care works hard to ensure that sibling groups stay together under one roof, so applicants who have the space and would like to foster siblings are always welcome.

Unaccompanied children and young people

Archway Care foster carers also care for children and young people who arrive in the area from other countries without adult supervision, such as unaccompanied asylum seekers. We need safe and secure home accommodation whilst plans are made for their future.