Long-term fostering provides substitute care when a child or young person in care is unable to return to their family. Adoption may be unsuitable for them, and a long-term foster care placement allows a child to develop a stable, secure relationship with their carer until adulthood.
When they reach 18 they may explore independent living (often with the support of their foster carer), but can also enter something called Staying Put* which allows them to remain with their foster carer until independence.
Sometimes a child will be placed with a foster carer as a long-term arrangement or match when they first enter care, but it can also sometimes be a short-term arrangement which becomes long-term if the child is happy and secure.
Long-term fostering is different to adoption in that children who are being fostered long-term legally remain in the care of the Local Authority for the duration of the arrangement, and fostering regulations continue to apply throughout that time. Adoption means that carers become the child’s legal guardians in the eyes of the law and will be granted parental responsibility. Many carers choose to remain as long-term foster carers, giving them continued access to the support, training, and benefits granted by working with Team Fostering.
*Staying Put is a framework in place for care-leavers who have reached the age of 18. This means that young people who have reached adulthood but who may not yet be ready to live independently can continue receiving support from their long-term foster carer, until they reach the age of 21 or leave the fostering household.
To find out more about Long-Term Fostering with Team Fostering, leave us your details here, chat to one of our advisors on Live Chat or call us on 0800 292 2003, we'd be happy to answer all of your questions.