What is Emergency Foster Care?
Emergency Fostering is a particular type of Foster Care and can be chosen as a Fostering path in its own right, OR in addition to long term Fostering. Foster Parents may choose to ONLY be Emergency Foster Carers - this often appeals to families that have less ability to commit to being a long term Foster Parent. However your home MUST still have a spare bedroom available for a child to call their own at short notice; and you should still be fully committed to Fostering and helping children.
Why is Emergency Fostering needed?
Emergency Foster Parents are a vital part to the Fostering community. Emergency Foster families provide safe and nurturing short term care for children and young people at very short notice or an emergency situation. There are many unplanned and unanticipated situations in which a child or young person may need a safe, short term home - death or hospitalisation of a parent may leave children without a suitable family member or guardian to care for them; Or there may be a safeguarding/chid protection issue in the family requiring the child to be removed for a short time while long term arrangements are made.
What makes Emergency Fostering different?
When a child requires Emergency Foster Care they may arrive confused, traumatised and frightened. Emergency Foster Parents need to be particularly mindful of this, providing a safety, stability and reassurance in an otherwise chaotic situation.
Often a child will arrive at very short notice with little background information so the ability to be flexible and adaptable is an extremely important characteristic of Emergency Foster Parents.
Could you Foster in an Emergency situation?
As Emergency Fostering is short term in its nature, some Foster Parents choose to start their Fostering journey by offering Emergency Care. However , while the children’s time in your home may be short-term, the unpredictability of Emergency Fostering does require a very flexible lifestyle and work pattern - you may need to take time off at short notice and be available full time during the placement as well as being available to welcome a child any time of the day or night.
If you'd like to know more about Emergency Fostering and if it could be for you, please Contact Us.