Benefits Of Long-Term Foster Care

5 Mins Read Ankita Tripathy 07 Sep 2023
Foster Care

When you qualify as a foster carer, you have a few key decisions to make. Will you be able to support long-term placements should the need arise? Would you be better suited to short spurts of respite care instead? How many children are you able to accommodate? This guide will focus on the benefits of establishing yourself as a long-term carer.

What Is Long-Term Foster Care

Foster care is a foster placement that persists for more than six months. One can call it a short-term placement. Foster children is a long-term placement that remains under the care of the foster parents. Long-term foster care allows one to create a long-lasting relationship that extends for not one but many years. 

The long-term foster care supports the development of a child. It also ensures that the child develops a sense of belonging and identity. They also experience a stable base and security. With the help of long-term foster care, both the child and the foster parents reap many benefits. 

There are more than one reasons why children can no longer live with their parents. The include:

  • The mental health of the parents.
  • Experience of physical, mental, and sexual abuse.
  • Death of parents. 
  • Serious illnesses.
  • Physical health. 

A child requires belonging and identity. They also need constant support and love. But more than this, they need a secure environment and stable base. 

A child requires constant medical care and assistance. But when they are not getting care, then in that case, they need to be under some alternative arrangement where they get the care.

Why Do Long-Term Foster Placements Come About?

Every single child that enters the care system is assessed on a rolling basis. A major part of this process will be to determine the viability of their return with a birth family or usual guardian. When a young person first goes to live with a foster carer, the placement is always deemed as a short-term arrangement until a full evaluation of needs and outcomes has been established.

If enough reasons come up to support them staying in care for a longer period, for instance until they turn 18, then this will be discussed with their original carer. There are many benefits to long term foster care, and these are explored below.

Nurturing Their Relationships

When it is possible and safe, contact with birth parents and family members will always be encouraged. Your role as a foster carer in a long-term setup means you are in a unique position to facilitate this in a positive framework and ensure that any contact that does take place is a session that has some form of a better outcome. This might be listening to a child post-contact, or holding the fort while they process complicated emotions.

The whole point of it all is to be a safe space for that young person to work through their feelings and create a rapport that will ultimately support their well-being. If their birth family is a part of this, your job will be to show up and be resilient enough for both of you. The fact is, remaining close to birth parents and families in a safe setting will be better for their overall development in the long run.

Read Also: 8 Things Impacting Children’s Mental Health Today

Consistency

In a long-term placement, the primary goal is consistency. As a carer, you can achieve this by ensuring a continuation of access to familiar education settings and doing things like making space for them to have prosocial interactions with peers and the general community. The right level of consistent care will encourage young person to explore who they are, feel confident in their decisions, and gain a sense of comfort or peace that they have yet to fully experience in their previous circumstances.

When Does  A Child Enter Into Long-Term Foster Care?

A child can enter the care system at any age. It can be with the help of the settlements of parents under the supervision of the honorable court. 

Children generally go into care as they experience the risks of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. When a child experiences all the issues mentioned above, it terribly affects their upbringing and psychological health.  Yes, you got it right; the constant care and upbringing change their mental state.   The care helps them eliminate the negatives in life and also the state of psychological vulnerability. 

What Are The Benefits For The Carer

The pathway for long-term foster care is not a highway, but at the same time, even the carer gets the benefit.  Let us unfold this very perspective of the entire discussion. 

Fulfilling Career

What else do you need if you are fulfilling your aspiration of nurturing such a young child along with a good income? This is one of the areas where the vocation meets with avocation. With foster care, the career fulfills their own need to mingle with little children and contribute to their upbringing. 

Long Term Placements

Although most of the foster placement is in the short term, one can turn into the long-term placements. The long-term placements allow you to bring up a child and add another member to your family. It means as a guardian, one is enjoying the work. 

Then, with mutual discussion, one can extend the contract. Yes, the tenure of foster parents makes your journey full of learning, positive experiences, and fulfilling the needs of the people. It can indeed be one of the areas that needs due focus. But on the other side of the coin lies benefits, learnings and attainments.

Conclusion

Developing minds need routine, emotional support, and a sturdy foundation to grow from and lots of children in care have had some or all of these elements removed from them. Being with a carer long-term means there is a space for them to connect with all of these concepts with one or two key adults leading the way on their behalf.

Long-term foster placements hold reliable benefits for everyone involved whether that is the carer, the child, or the birth family.

Read Also:

Ankita Tripathy loves to write about food and the Hallyu Wave in particular. During her free time, she enjoys looking at the sky or reading books while sipping a cup of hot coffee. Her favourite niches are food, music, lifestyle, travel, and Korean Pop music and drama.

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