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Long term and permanent fostering

The main rewards for long term or permanent fostering is knowing that you have provided a secure home for a child to grow and develop and help them overcome the effects of their past. We help these children stay in contact with their family even though they cannot live with them. Occasionally, some young people have been successfully returned to their parents after years of support from foster carers.

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Long term fostering

This is where where a child has been in their placement for longer than 24 months and is not secured by a Permanence Order (PO).

Some children will remain with their foster carers on a long term basis into adulthood, either on a voluntary order or subject to a Compulsory Supervision Order through the Children’s Hearing system. Often these young people will not have agreed with us applying for a PO and want their parents to keep their parental rights and responsibilities.

In some instances the childs care plan shows that we are looking for alternative placements, including with their birth family. These are usually exceptional situations and the young person and the carers may need a high level of support.

children's hands playing in the sand

Permanent fostering

This is where the plan is for us to apply for a Permanence Order (PO).

Permanent carers are asked to look after older children and teenagers who cannot live with their parents or relatives.  Prior to moving to permanent carers the child will have been living with temporary carers or a relative. They will have had difficulties in their early life and may have experienced multiple placement moves as well as emotional, physical neglect or abuse. 

Attempts to reunite the children with their parents will have been made and will have failed. Many of the children and young people may have had several periods of being looked after during their childhood either by foster carers or by relatives.  All this means that they may not be easy to look after. They may have feelings of confusion, anger and hurt which is shown through difficult behaviour and a lack of trust in adults. 

For many of these children and teenagers it is very important that they remain in contact with their family even though they cannot live with them. 

Permanent carers provide a home for children and young people who are unable to live with their families for the rest of their childhood until they reach the age of independence or as long as they are needed.

Occasionally, some young people have been successfully returned to their parents after several years of support from foster carers.

As permanent carers you need many skills, some of which involve:

  • An ability to provide a stable home for as long as the child needs to be looked after
  • An ability to accept the child’s past
  • An ability to include the child’s parents in their future
  • An ability to cope with unhappy children
  • An ability to keep going even when things are difficult
  • An ability to get the best out of education
  • An ability to make sure they are well and healthy.

Find out about other types of fostering including private fostering and kinship care.

Ask us about fostering   

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