Short term foster care is all about welcoming a foster child into your home for a short period of time. It is one of the many types of fostering we facilitate at Orchard Fostering. Read on to find out more about short term fostering.

What is short term foster care?

Short term foster care involves caring for a foster child for a short period of time. The care period can last for days, weeks, or months. The aim of short term placements is to eventually return the foster child to their birth family – though sometimes, they enter foster care on a longer-term basis. As such, short term fostering acts as a transition phase for foster children.

One thing to note – short term foster care is different to emergency fostering. Emergency fostering placements can come at any time, whereas short term placements involve a little more notice for the carer. You can learn more about emergency fostering here.

When does a child enter short term foster care?

Children enter short term foster care for a variety of reasons – parents may be ill or undergoing an assessment; there may be difficulties at home necessitating the child entering short term foster care, prior to moving on to a long term placement. Each foster child’s situation is unique – in short term foster care, the carer has the opportunity to help and assist a diverse group of children in need.

Is short term foster care a good starting point?

If you’re interested in fostering, starting off with a short term placement can be really beneficial. The short term nature of the placement means you can get a feel for fostering, without the pressure of long term.

Are short term placements a stepping stone to long term fostering?

Short term fostering can sometimes lead to long term placements. If you are involved in short term fostering, you will accrue all the skills necessary to become a long term foster carer, if you so wished.

Some short term placements can evolve into long term placements – if the foster child’s situation changes, perhaps. In this case, the short term carer would be consulted and it would be hoped that they would be open and interested in fostering their foster child on a long term basis.

What supports do Orchard Fostering offer short term foster carers?

Short term foster carers are offered the exact same supports as all our carers. We offer a wide range of additional services, each one designed to deliver the best possible experience and outcome for our carers and foster children.

As a short term carer, you have access to a dedicated social worker; a 24/7 on call service; locally-run support groups; foster trainings; etc. You also can avail of our play therapy services, our theraplay practicioners, and our other internal supports.

What type of person should become a short term foster carer?

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably interested in fostering to some degree. Your interest alone is a sign that you’re a kind, considerate and thoughtful person contemplating helping those in need. That’s exactly the type of person suited to short term fostering.

Starting your short term foster care journey is simple. If you’re interested, contact Orchard Fostering – and we can start building brighter futures together today.