Long-term fostering typically refers to a court-approved permanent foster placement. Foster children often remain in the care of their foster families until their eighteenth birthday or even longer. It is considered the most rewarding type of foster care for both the child and the foster care. Long-term foster care allows a foster child and parent to develop a loving and lasting relationship over many years, introducing much-needed consistency and stability. It’s an emotional investment.
When Does a Child Enter Long-Term Foster Care?
A child may join the care system at any age subject to a court order or understanding with their parents. Children in long-term foster care may have experienced or are at risk of experiencing significant emotional, physical and developmental harm. A child may no longer be able to live with their birth family for many reasons, including parental mental health, parental addiction, sexual or emotional abuse, or death.
What Does a Long-Term Foster Parent Do?
It may often seem intimidating, but it’s an exciting and brave thing to do. As a foster parent, you will first be assessed to determine your suitability to provide for the child’s long-term needs. A foster parent’s responsibility includes meeting the child’s social, medical, and education needs to the best of their ability. They need to support, nurture and guide the foster child while helping them grow and thrive.
Short Term vs. Long Term Fostering
Short-term fostering involves placements from between a single night to a few years. In such instances, a parent stays with a child while their legal care proceedings are being finalized. Long-term fostering, on the other hand, is not purely based on time but rather on the type of care normally until adulthood.
Prioritizing Children and Family Wellness
At TFI Family Services, we are the leading child welfare agency dedicated to providing care and compassion. Every day, we work towards developing innovative solutions and creating new resources to meet the needs of children and families. Contact us today to learn more about fostering, volunteering and donating to help strengthen families.