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.
Benefits of working with FCA
24/7 advice service
Excellent ongoing training
Access to your local fostering team
Local support groups
Local social activities and events