About fostering - Role of the foster parent

Long-term Fostering

We believe that all children and young people deserve a secure and stable family home. Long-term foster care can give a child just that.

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What is long-term fostering?

Long-term foster care means that a child or young person lives with a committed foster parent until they reach adulthood. Being brought up within one family, often over several years, gives young people in foster care more consistency and a greater sense of belonging. It also helps a child to settle within a local community and develop positive relationships.

The permanent one-to-one support that a long-term foster parent can provide is exactly what young people need in order to thrive.

Benefits of long-term fostering

One of the key benefits of being a long-term foster parent is the chance to make and see the significant progress of a child or young person's whilst they have been in your care, whether this be behavioural, social, emotional or educational. The benefit for the child of having stability is the opportunity to settle so they are able to form positive relationships and attachments.

Often after leaving care the relationships between children, young people and the foster family continue into adulthood and throughout their life celebrating many milestones together.

Long-term fostering allowances

Foster care is a fantastic and demanding vocation and one that deserves an equally fantastic reward. That’s why we offer competitive long-term fostering allowances and generous benefits and perks for our long-term foster carers.

Our long-term fostering allowances take into account the demands of foster care and the significance of the long-term role you play in supporting a foster child’s growth and development. They’re designed to help you cover the cost of looking after the young people in your care with enough left over to reward yourself.

We understand that not every child is the same and that each placement comes with its own experiences and challenges. As recognition of this, FCA offers extended training and enhanced allowances for foster parents who open their homes to children and young people with disabilities, autism and specialist behaviours. This increase to your long-term fostering allowance will cover the extra support and expenses necessary to provide the best specialist care to these children and young people.

To learn about the tax reliefs and exemptions you receive as a long-term foster parent and about how much you could earn by fostering, be sure to visit our fostering allowances and payments page.

How is long-term fostering different from adoption?

Long-term fostering can seem very similar to adoption, but there are some important differences:

  • Unlike adoption, a child in long-term foster care with you will remain the legal responsibility of the local authority. With adoption, the legal rights of a child are transferred to their adoptive parents.
  • When adopting a child, you do not receive an allowance, but with long-term fostering, you continue to receive your fostering allowance for the entirety of the time you foster the child or young person.
  • Even though a child may not be able to live with their parents, they may not want to be adopted or it may not be possible to do so. In these cases, long-term fostering is the answer.

Are you thinking of fostering?

Download the FCA’s complete beginner’s guide to fostering a child. Find out more on how to foster a child and the process involved.

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Simple Guide:Trauma in Foster Children

In foster care, many of the children are healing from childhood trauma that involved being abused or neglected. However, it’s extremely rewarding to help troubled children try to conquer their battles and come out the other side stronger.

Find out more about how to foster a child with trauma.

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Benefits of working with FCA

24/7 advice service

Excellent ongoing training

Access to your local fostering team

Competitive allowances

Local support groups

Local social activities and events

foster family

Other types of fostering

From helping a young person with the transition from residential care to providing a foster child with a caring family environment for several years, we have many foster parenting options available.

View fostering types

Get in touch

Whether you’re ready to start your journey or just want to chat, contact our fostering team today and we'll answer all your questions.

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