How long can you foster a child for?
Long-term fostering, or permanence fostering as it is called in Scotland, involves looking after a child or young person on a permanent basis until they are ready to live independently.
Foster parents providing long-term foster care may look after a child until the age of 18, but it can be longer if the young person is still in further education.
Long-term fostering is often required when there isn’t a possibility of a child returning to live with their birth family and when adoption has been ruled out. This could be because of a child’s age, or because they or their family don’t wish adoption to be considered.
The rewards of long-term fostering
Many of our children come to us on a short-term fostering basis, however many children move into a long-term fostering placement because they have settled well with their foster family and are thriving in their foster home. This proves how important the matching process for long-term fostering is, as we want every child to have the best experience possible.
Long-term foster care is really rewarding for our foster families, as you get to see the adults the young people become and many of our foster families remain a part of that young person’s adult life, including becoming grandparents!
Looking after young people on a long-term basis is a huge commitment and it isn’t for everyone, but it could be for you – and the rewards of watching a young person grow and develop are immeasurable.
Long-term fostering could be right for you, especially if you worry about the sense of loss you may experience if a child you have bonded with moves on.
Foster care is a great direction to take in your life. Our foster parents see it as a rewarding role that allows them to help young people develop and grow while earning a generous allowance.
Providing excellent support to our foster parents is what Fostering People is all about. Our support has an outstanding reputation and is highly accredited.
Every foster child is an individual, that’s why we offer various kinds of fostering placements.
The types of foster care placements you're offered will depend on your personal preferences and circumstances, but many of our foster parents are approved to offer more than one type of placement.
If you’re interested in becoming a foster parent and would like to learn more, then we’d love to hear from you.
Simply fill in the form below and one of our friendly team will be in touch.
Does a foster parent get paid for fostering?
Yes, go to our financial calculator to gain an idea about how much you could receive.
Who can apply to become a foster parent?
Fostering is available to anyone over the age of 21 as along as you meet the criteria.
Will I receive any specialist training?
Yes, we believe fostering is a journey – and the more you know, the more you’ll get out of it. That’s why we provide ongoing training opportunities for both our foster carers and our staff. Before you’re approved as a carer, you’ll attend a preparation course designed to get you and your family ready to foster. And once approved, you’ll take part in our comprehensive training programme.
What are long-term foster care parents’ rights?
As a foster parent, you don’t receive any legal rights over the children or young people in your care. All legal rights remain with the local authority until they reach adulthood or otherwise specified.
How long do you keep a foster child?
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to how long a child will be with you. It could be days, weeks, months, or years – it all depends on the child’s needs and the type of fostering placement you’re able to offer. Sometimes a short-term placement can turn into long-term foster care because the child is thriving in their environment.
What’s the difference between long-term fostering and adopt?
Long-term fostering and adoption may look similar but there are important differences. If you foster a child, the legal rights of that child remain with the local authority, whereas adopting a child gives you all legal rights. Another main difference is that as a long-term foster parent, you continue to receive a financial allowance for as long as the child is with you. There is no financial allowance when you adopt.
What’s involved in the long-term fostering matching process?
Once you’ve been approved to be a foster parent, our fostering team and social workers will assess your abilities, skills, and circumstances, and compare this to the needs of children awaiting long-term foster care. Once we think there’s a good match, you’ll get all the information you need to make an informed decision. If you accept the match, the child’s social worker will be notified and a final decision will be made.