When children are first cared for by us this is in a short term placement, this can be anything from a night or 2, to a few years. Children can be of any age from babies and toddlers to teenagers.
Carers provide a safe and secure place for the children to live, for school-age children this means maintaining their existing school place to provide them with stability and consistency, maintaining important relationships with friends and teachers.
If a child is not able to return to their immediate or extended birth family then alternative options will be identified. For a child under 5 years old, this may mean you support them to move onto an adoptive family.
For children aged 5 and upwards, they may stay with you as a long term arrangement; if they are settled and happy with you and you feel you can commit to caring for them as a long term arrangement.
If this is not the case, an alternative long term foster placement will be identified and you would support the child to move on to this new placement.
An important part of short term fostering is helping the child to understand their life story both now and in the future, so this means keeping mementoes of special times and activities they have enjoyed whist with you and your family, so those memories will stay with them.