Every child deserves a loving family, but unfortunately not every child is blessed with one. Luckily in Australia we have a great foster system in place to help provide much needed support and care for at risk children. Becoming a foster carer is a great opportunity for you to open your home, and your heart to someone in need, however it can be a daunting idea.
Did you know that not all foster care is full-time? Sometimes foster care is only required on weekends, some for a couple months, some for two years and some longer.
Many people assume that foster care is long term. Below we will explain the five main types of foster care and give you a few websites to check out.
Therapeutic Foster care
This is an out-of-home care option (more long term). Therapeutic foster care is for children and young people with multiple complex needs, aimed at actively facilitating healing and recovery from effects of abuse, and/or separation from family.
From time to time, parents and carers need a break from their caring role. Respite care is for short periods of time, so on weekends or school holidays. This is a great option for people who don’t want to foster a child long term.
Short to medium-term care
These are placements up to six months in duration. Short to medium-term placements have a strong focus on reunifying the child with their birth parents or extended family.
Immediate or crisis care
This is when a child needs immediate care due to safety issues. Immediate carers need to be willing to provide care at anytime, anywhere, at short notice.
Long Term Care
This is when a child is not expected to be reunited with their family or may not be allowed to return. Long term carers usually can end up adopting the child or take care of them until they reach the age of 18.
If becoming a foster carer sounds like something you want to see yourself doing - consider checking out Life Without Barriers. This website is full of information for you to investigate your future needs to be able to foster a child If you are considering this great opportunity to provide for kids in need, don’t wait any longer. You may wish to contact your local parenting help service/s for further information or go to www.lwb.org.au.
Remember that what you may be able to provide for a child just might be what a child needs. Foster a future.