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Long Term Foster Parents Rights

There are various types of fostering, such as “emergency”, “short-term” or “parent and child”, in addition to long-term placements.

Here, we look at long-term fostering placements, what they mean and, in particular, the rights of long-term foster parents.

You can read more about the different types of foster care here.

Long-term foster care - in brief

Long-term foster care is precisely that – the placement of a child or young person (under 18-years-old) into a foster family environment. The placement might last for months or years and often into adulthood when they can live independently. A long-term placement with a foster carer can only take place once the Local Authority has granted a care order.

Long-term fostering is an integral element of permanence planning and part of an agreed care plan for the child. Implementing the plan involves the “team around the child”, namely, the birth family (if appropriate), social workers, health workers, education professionals, the Local Authority and other professionals as required.

What rights does a long-term foster parent have?

When a child or young person is legally adopted, all parental rights and responsibilities are transferred to the adoptive parent(s). It is an important distinction that long-term foster parents have no legal parental rights over their fostered child; those rights remain with the Local Authority (LA) and the birth parents.

Instead, foster parents are deemed to have parental responsibility for the day-to-day care, nurture and upbringing of a youngster in the care system, sometimes referred to as a “looked after child” or a “child that is looked after”.

You don't need to have children of your own to appreciate the weight of this responsibility, and when you join Family Fostering Partners as a foster parent, we’re on hand to guide, advise and support you every step of the way.

Joining your family can be an upsetting and unsettling transition for a young person who may never have experienced the care and attention given as being part of a loving family. Welcoming a stranger into your home can impact your family life in ways you didn't expect, too.

In the earliest days of the placement, everyone must recognise and allow for this adjustment period.

Structure, stability, and routine all play a part in family life, just as much as love and laughter. The impact of a successful foster care placement on a young person’s life cannot be underestimated and often transcends the fact that a foster parent has no legal rights over the child in their care.

In real life, long-term foster parents have a regular and consistent positive input on every aspect of a child’s development, setting a child who might have had a chaotic and unpredictable upbringing on the path to a more settled transition to adulthood and independent living.

A long-term foster care placement gives a vulnerable young person the chance to build attachments and trust, have their ambitions encouraged, develop a clear sense of identity, make friends, build confidence and start living their lives to the full.

As each day goes by, you feel more empowered about making the right decisions and choices with the best interests of that child at heart. You may not have any legal rights, but you will have the right to a well-deserved sense of achievement and satisfaction.

Ready to join our family?

Family Fostering Partners is always ready to welcome foster parents into our family. Our professional fostering service boasts a network of foster parents that reflects the diverse communities across Wales and into Mid-West England.

With paid fostering allowances available, training, guidance and support all in place, you'll never be alone when you join Family Fostering Partners.

You can find out more by selecting an option at the bottom of the page that best suits you.

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