Long-term foster care is one of the most beneficial types of fostering. The stability and security it provides for a child is instrumental in their childhood, which has often been fraught with disruption and trauma. Long-term fostering means looking after a child on a long-term basis, which can last up until they reach 18 years old or longer on a ‘Staying Put’ arrangement to help them transition into adulthood and independent living.
For children and young people it creates a sense of belonging and reflects a commitment on both the part of the foster family and child. Unlike adoption, the children remain the legal responsibility of the local authority, and fostering allowances continue to support the wonderful care of the foster parent. Long term foster care placements are carefully planned and regularly reviewed with a focus on the child or young person building trusting relationships with the foster family and maintaining stability within their foster home. When appropriate, continuing contact with their birth family is also important in maintaining their wellbeing, so foster parents support regular contact and communication with parents, siblings and other family members.
Being a long term foster parent is hugely rewarding, as you get to see how far a child or a young person has come since being in your care. Often, children will remain a part of your life even after they leave foster care when reaching adulthood.