4. Placement Types

Last activity on June 21, 2024

4. Placement Types

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There are different types of foster care which a foster care household may be registered to provide. Carers can be registered with ac.care for one or more care types, depending on preference, time available and capacity to care. These are listed below.

Immediate Care (previously called emergency care)

Involves a young person being placed in a foster care home for an overnight stay, which may be extended for up to a week in some cases. Foster carers who provide emergency care can be contacted at short notice at any time of the day and night. This is a result of children needing to be removed from their home environment immediately due to safety risks. Children can be removed from their birth families for a number of reasons whether it be abuse of a child, neglect of a child or simply a parent who feels they are no longer able to care for their child.

This type of care provides immediate safety for young people who are at risk, while the Department for Child Protection can assess the child’s care environment. Children may return to their birth family or require transition to a short-term care placement.

Short-term care

Involves caring for a child where the intention of the Department for Child Protection and care team is to assess the possibility of reunification of the child with their birth family. The circumstances of reunification can vary significantly and the length of time a child may stay in short-term care varies accordingly. Most commonly the stays are between two weeks and 12 months.  Sometimes the Department for Child Protection will establish that it is not in the child’s best interests to return to their birth family and they will require long-term care.

Long-term care

Is required for a child when it is not likely that they will return to their birth family. The goal of long-term care is to ensure a stable, secure family environment for a child or young person through to the age of 18 to 21. Children in a long-term foster care placement may still have regular contact with their birth families and are supported by the care team to reach their full potential in all aspects of their life domains.

Respite care

Involves having a child in care for short stays. This could be regular weekends, school holidays or one-off overnight stays. Respite care allows children to build additional strong relationships with positive role models and enjoy new experiences with their respite carer. It also provides a respite opportunity for foster carers providing short-term or long-term care.

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