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Understanding Long Term Foster Care Parents Rights

There are various types of fostering, such as “emergency”, “short-term”, or “parent and child” placements.  Here, we look at long term foster care parents rights. Discussing what long term fostering means, and whether foster carers have parental responsibility.

Long term fostering overview   

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 may last for a number of years, but often continues until 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 a 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. But do foster carers have parental responsibility? And what are long term foster care parents rights?

Do foster carers have parental responsibility?   

Contrary to legal adoption where parental rights transfer, long term foster parents do not hold legal parental rights over the child in their care; these rights remain with the Local Authority and birth parents (if appropriate). Instead, foster parents are entrusted with responsibility for the day-to-day care, nurture, and upbringing of the child or children that they support.

At Family Fostering Partners, we understand the weight of this responsibility and are always on hand to provide guidance, advice, and support throughout. Be assured that although our foster parents do not hold legal parental rights, our dedicated Link Workers will always advocate for our long term foster care parents rights.

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.

You can learn more about long term foster care parents rights and permanence

Benefits of long term fostering

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, and build confidence.   

Impactful fostering 

While legal parental rights are not given to long term foster parents, the impact that long term fostering has is immeasurable. Providing structure, stability, routine, love, and laughter, foster parents contribute significantly to a child's transition to adulthood and independent living.

Empowering the future   

Despite lacking legal rights, long-term foster parents empower the children in their care daily by making decisions in the best interests of the child. You can learn more about the impact long term foster care has by watching the video from Davin, a young man who was looked after by Family Fostering Partners foster parents. 

 Ready to join our family?   

At Family Fostering Partners we are always eager to talk with people who are interested in long term fostering. Get in touch with us today by visiting our contact page, or you can chat with us live using the "Tawk" feature.

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