Important Things to Know About Foster Care

Juliet D'cruz

Updated on:

With the rising numbers of orphaned and abandoned children, foster care is worth discussing. According to CWIG (Child Welfare Information Gateway), children exit home care for various reasons, and about 672,000 children spent time in US foster care in 2019. Luckily, fostering helps such kids receive proper care until they get a safe and stable environment.

What’s the difference between fostering and adoption?

Foster care and adoption are two common terms in childcare, but they are different in many ways. Fostering differs from adoption in that it is a temporary solution. On the other hand, adoption is usually a more permanent and long-term solution to abandoned or orphaned kids.

 During fostering, you play the role of a parent until the authorities locate a safer environment for the child. Also, you share decision-making with the authorities, unlike in adoption, where you have full parental control over the child.

 Who qualifies as a foster caregiver?

Are you planning for foster care adoption? There are various aspects to keep in mind before making a decision. Fostering is a significant decision that affects you and your entire family, and getting them involved goes a long way.

 To qualify as a foster caregiver, you must be 21 eyras or more and with different qualities such as patient, open-minded, dependable, and more. Also, you should be ready to experiment with varying parenting approaches and with kids of varied needs. 

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What are the different types of foster care?

Children get fostered for different reasons. This can be because their family can’t cope due to illness or bereavement, and the child needs to be cared for by a foster carer for a short period. In some instances, it’s necessary to find a safe place for a child who has been living in a harmful situation.

 There are different types of fostering; these include;

  • Short-term foster care

Short-term foster care can range from a few days to several months. The goal of short-term foster care is to allow social services to provide support and assessment to the child’s family. It also allows time to decide whether the child should return to their parents or be placed with a long-term caregiver.

  • Long-term foster care

Long-term foster care applies to kids whose families cannot care for them until they reach adulthood. But, the parents remain a significant part of the child’s life. The foster caregiver also commits to care for the kid until they reach the age of eighteen years and sometimes more.

  • Respite 

 Respite care may take hours, days, or weeks. Its purpose is to help families at times of crisis; this can be hospital admission or support other foster caregivers who may need a short break.

  • Mother and baby

 Mother and baby foster care mainly applies to young or teenage mothers with special needs. In such cases, social workers will place her and the baby with a family that will support and cares for them as she learns parenting skills. This type of care can take weeks to months, depending on the mother’s needs.

In summary, fostering is an excellent way to care for children in your home. There are different types of foster care, and not everyone qualifies as a foster carer. Again, this type of care can last from hours, weeks, to months, depending on the child’s needs and regulations in your state.

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