Emergency fostering is needed for situations where a child needs a foster home urgently, either for a night, for a few days or even longer. This could occur during the day as well as at night, on weekends and other unexpected times. Most fostering households are emergency foster carers, and are prepared to receive a child into their home at very short notice.
The ability to be flexible and adapt to changing circumstances is extremely important, and the foster carer must have a spare room set aside in their home for these emergencies. Emergency fostering is a type of foster care in its own right, but it can also be done in addition to other placement types, for example longer term fostering placements.
Why is emergency fostering needed?
Emergency fostering is an important part of the fostering service. There are many different situations where a child or young person might need a home at short notice, for example if a parent is taken into hospital and there is no one else to care for them, or if there is a child protection issue in the family.
Often when children need emergency foster care they are confused or frightened. They may be traumatised by the circumstances which have led them to need shelter. It’s important that a foster carer keeps this in mind and provides children with a stable, warm and understanding environment, acting with sensitivity at all times.
Emergency fostering placements
Once the child or young person is placed with the foster family, the Local Authority social worker assesses if it is appropriate and in the child’s interest to return to their family. If this is not possible, an emergency foster placement can extend into a short term placement, or possibly even a long term placement.
For the sake of stability in the child’s life, it is very important that the foster family is able to support a child in an emergency situation, as well as in a more permanent placement
If you’re interested in emergency foster care, call UK Fostering and we will guide you through the process. We will be happy to answer your queries.