Short term fostering is one of the most rewarding types of foster care, because it is about providing the stepping stones to help change children’s lives. It can provide much needed stability at a time when it is most needed, giving young people the time and personal space to regain their confidence and wellbeing.
Short term fostering is for children and young people whose care plan is uncertain. A child may be placed with you following removal from their family home due to concerns, or due to the birth parents unavailability due to illness. A child may require a placement following a breakdown in the arrangement with another foster carer or adopter.
This type of fostering is different to short break fostering that provides a very short ‘break’ for both the main foster carer and the young person they are caring for.
As a foster carer, your role will be to provide temporary care for a child until more permanent arrangements can be made for them. Possible outcomes could be a return to their birth family, adoption, or even a long term foster placement. Therefore, you could be required to work closely with potential adopters, other foster carers and the child’s own parents, depending on the best outcome for them.
If you are also approved to provide long term fostering, the status of the placement could turn into long term if all parties consider this to be the best option for the young person.
Short term placements can last from a few days, a few weeks or sometimes a number of years. Due to the short term nature of this type of foster care, it is important that children feel safe and secure. They may feel uprooted, disorientated and confused – especially if their long term care plan has not been finalised. So ensuring that they have a secure base is essential.
Short term foster care is about providing temporary care for children until longer term care plans can be finalised and initiated. This type of foster care involves a great deal of skill and flexibility – and our fostering allowances reflect this.
The actual short term fostering pay you receive will vary depending on your local authority, the number of children you are fostering, their age, and whether or not they have additional needs.
There are also payments for children’s birthdays, holidays and religious festivals while they’re in placement with you. Additionally, we also pay long service awards and a Recommend a Friend fee (if you recommend someone who then goes on to be an approved foster carer with us).
Read more about our fees and allowances.
To be able to provide short term foster care, you will need to work closely and flexibly with different professionals, birth parents and sometimes even adopters. Our full training will ensure that you are fully equipped with the skills required to help children and young people prepare for a more permanent care arrangement.
Training begins during the foster carer assessment stage. This training is called Skills to Foster, and is delivered remotely. Not only does this provide an insight into fostering, it will also give you a chance to meet other fostering applicants as well as a current TACT foster carer.
Once approved, you will allocated an annual training programme to extend your skills further.
Read more about our training.
You will receive comprehensive support, which includes being allocated your own dedicated Supervising Social Worker. You will also be able to access full 24/7 support should you ever need to.
In addition, you will be able to attend support groups local to you, giving you the chance to meet other short term foster carers and share experiences.
At TACT, we reinvest surplus income into providing more support, enabling us to go over and above of what is expected of a fostering agency.
Read more about the support we offer.
Short term foster care is rewarding because you get to make a difference to a child’s life in a relatively short period of time. You will be the one to provide day-to-day care, to help them regain their self-esteem and mental wellbeing – and ultimately prepare them for a more permanent care and living arrangement.
Many foster carers begin their fostering journey undertaking short term foster care, because it enables them to help change children’s lives without the initial commitment and pressure of a long term foster placement.
Why not make a no obligation enquiry today by completing the enquiry form on this page. Our team of enquiry officers will talk you through the process of becoming a foster carer with TACT. We are a charity, so we place no pressure on anyone to apply. Fostering needs to be the right choice for you and your household.