Children need to live with foster carers for a number of different reasons and come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Therefore we need a wide variety of foster carers to be able to meet their needs and provide them with positive family life experiences.
We always place with our own foster carers first, this means our foster carers have less gaps between placements and the children they care for attend schools in Rochdale and can maintain their relationships with their family and friends within the borough.
If you're already a foster carer and would like to transfer to fostering with us then please contact us.
Some children come into our care in an emergency situation and this can happen outside of normal office hours, during the night or at the weekend. Emergency foster carers are there to provide a place of safety for an often distressed and confused child in this situation and will care for them briefly until they can either return to a family member or move on to a short term fostering placement.
You will need to be able to provide a safe space in an emergency with little notice and be willing to care for and meet the needs of children of different ages.
When children are first cared for by us this is in a short term placement, this can be anything from a night or 2, to a few years. Children can be of any age from babies and toddlers, through to teenagers.
Carers provide a safe and secure place for the children to live, for school age children this means maintaining their existing school place to provide them with stability and consistency, maintaining important relationships with friends and teachers.
If a child is not able to return to their immediate or extended birth family then alternative options will be identified. For a child under 5 years old this may mean you support them to move onto an adoptive family. For children aged 5 and upwards, they may stay with you as a long term arrangement; if they are settled and happy with you and you feel you can commit to caring for them as a long term arrangement. If this is not the case, an alternative long term foster placement will be identified and you would support the child to move on to this new placement.
An important part of short term fostering is helping the child to understand their life story both now and in the future, so this means keeping mementos of special times and activities they have enjoyed whist with you and your family, so those memories will stay with them.
When children are unable to return to their birth families and adoption is not an option, we identify a long term placement to provide them with a permanent home. This is a planned placement where they can grow up in a safe and secure environment, forming lifelong relationships.
They would move to a local school so they can form friendships in the area where they are living.
However, they will still maintain relationships with key people in their lives, such as family members.
As children grow older, a key role in long term fostering is supporting them to achieve and succeed as well as preparing them for adult life.
To support the transition to adult life, there is now provision under the "Staying Put" scheme for young people to stay with their foster carer beyond age 18, until age 21 or 25 if still in education.
Parent and child fostering
This involves a young parent and their baby living with you and you will support them emotionally, as well as with the practical aspects of parenting. Providing support and guidance to the young parent in meeting both their own and their child's needs. Working closely with them to improve their parenting skills, to support the bond between parent and child and increase the likelihood of the parent continuing to care for their child.
Your observations and insights into how well they are able to cope with parenting their child will help inform the future plans for them.
Supported lodgings carers provide a place to live, emotional and practical support and advice to young people aged 16 and over. The young person may need a stepping stone to independence after being in care or may have been homeless and is unable to return to their birth family.
You would usually be able to continue to work whilst being a supported lodgings carer, as the young person will have a level of independence.
Concurrent planning is designed to give babies and young children under 2 years old a better start in life by finding permanent families. Through concurrent placements, children who are are taken into care when they are born or soon after are placed with concurrent carers. These concurrent carers are prospective adopters who are also approved as foster carers.
The child is placed, usually at birth or very early on, with concurrent carers who are approved both as foster and adopters while the court makes a decision about the child's future. While this decision is being made, the child's parents and sometimes other family members are assessed to see whether the child can return to them. The child will either return home to their birth family or, if this can't happen, will then be adopted by their concurrent carers who become the legal parents.
Concurrent placements aren't suitable for all children. We consider them for babies from birth to 2 years where we believe there is at least an 80% chance that a child will be adopted.
To be a concurrent carer you need to be resourceful and emotionally mature, able to put the needs of babies and young children first, and respect and work with a child’s birth family in the early months.
Foster to adopt
Foster to adopt is similar to concurrent planning. Carers are approved as both adopters and foster carers. The child may return home to their birth family but the local authority strongly anticipates that they will go on to be adopted by their carers.
Children from a range of ages can be considered for this scheme but their suitability for this will depend on the individual circumstances of the child. This option is particularly suitable for second time adopters where they already have the care of a sibling.
How to become a foster carer
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