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Emergency foster care

Emergency foster care or emergency fostering placements are needed at short notice and without much time to plan. A child or young person who needs immediate care relies on Emergency Foster Parents. We require our emergency foster parents to be on hand to offer care to vulnerable children, often without much warning.

Emergency fostering is a very important type of foster care and we are always looking for more people to become emergency foster parents. Sadly, the need for people needed to offer loving foster homes, including temporary emergency fostering homes, is ever-growing.

There are many different types of foster care and emergency foster care is one area which is often overlooked.

What is emergency foster care?

Whilst in an ideal world, all foster placements are planned in advance, sometimes this just isn’t possible. When this happens, we call the placement an ‘emergency foster care placement’ or ‘emergency fostering’.

For many different reasons, some children come into the foster system on an emergency basis, requiring immediate care. Emergency foster care placements provide shorter-term care for children who may need somewhere to stay with little warning, and because there is no way of predicting when emergency fostering will be needed, emergency foster parent and parents who provide this service need to be available at very short notice, at night and on weekends, as well as during the day.

Emergency fostering can be required for a number of reasons. Circumstances vary, but children may have been removed from their parents because of drug or alcohol misuse issues, because they are having a difficult time, or are temporarily unable to cope. Children may be entering emergency foster care because their home environment is unsafe, or perhaps because their parents or carers are suffering from physical or mental health problems. Individuals may also require emergency foster care due to unexpected bereavements, leaving children with nowhere to go and requiring an immediate place to stay until longer term arrangements can be made.

Emergency fostering provides children with somewhere safe to stay while care proceedings take place or an alternative long-term home can be found; perhaps in the care of family and friends, long term fostering, or adoption. Emergency foster care placements can last days or weeks and sometimes months or longer. This means you may need to take on a transitional role, preparing the child and their future carer givers for their lives together.

Could you be an emergency foster parent?

Children who need the care of an emergency foster carer will be scared and confused. They may be coming to terms with a very difficult and traumatic event but will be too young to fully understand what has happened. They will find themselves in a strange environment away from the people they know and love which means that the emergency foster parent they are placed with needs to be extraordinarily patient and understanding.

The length of an emergency fostering placement can vary depending upon the situation. Whilst most last for just a few days and allow social workers time to plan and make more permanent arrangements, sometimes, emergency fostering placements work well and can become more permanent. It is therefore important that emergency foster parents can be flexible in the length of time they are available to look after a child.

Although being an emergency foster parent can be unpredictable and demanding, it can also be extremely rewarding. Being there for a child at a time when they need you the most and having the opportunity to offer safety and kindness to a vulnerable young person is a real privilege that makes emergency fostering worthwhile.

We ensure that our carers receive all of the support and training they need so you will never be alone. All of our foster parents, including emergency foster parents, will have access to Foster Talk. As an emergency foster parent providing emergency foster care, you will look after a variety of different children and the short-term nature of the work involved gets you used to fostering and all that it entails.

Becoming an Emergency Foster carer

If you’d like to find out more about emergency foster care, get in touch today. We are happy to answer any questions you may have and provide further information on this important and incredibly rewarding role. You can find ways of contacting us by visiting our contact us page, alternatively you can use our live chat feature or give us a ring on 0330 0948816.

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