There are many different types of fostering, including short-term, long-term and short break care. We have a page dedicated to explaining these, which you can access by clicking here.
We also approve carers who can deal with Specialist Placements, such as mother and child placements. We provide Specialist Training to ensure that foster carers are fully enabled to deal with each placement’s needs. A carer approved for these kinds of placements would only be matched where suitable training had been completed.
Fostering an asylum seeking refugee child or young person also requires specialist experience and skills gained from work or parenting.
A foster carer in this situation may experience some of the following:
A child or young person that may not have any documentation and, if unaccompanied, it can be difficult to assess their age or even know their name
A child or young person with no schooling, and so additional support would be required from Team Fostering's Education and Support Service alongside the relevant Local Authority
A placement with unknown duration due to the uncertainty around the child or young person's circumstance
A language barrier, particularly if the child or young person can not speak or understand English
A chance that they will have escaped extreme circumstances and could be suffering from trauma
These children and young people are often placed with foster carers in emergency situation where very little is known about their background, family and circumstances. Matching our foster carers with children and young people is of paramount importance to us, as we want children to experience stability when they come into our care.
It is expected that the numbers of asylum-seeking refugee children and young people who are entering the care system will continue to increase rapidly.
We currently work with carers who have first-hand experience of fostering refugees, having been providing this kind of care for a number of years. This includes carers of different backgrounds and ethnicities, all of which placements have had very successful outcomes.
What has been important in these situations is the level of support and training foster carers receive from Team Fostering to help provide the best possible care for these children and young people, and this will continue moving forward.