Children and young people are placed into care for different reasons. Lotus Foster Care offers a range of foster placements to meet their needs. Foster carers receive regular training and support to ensure that the needs of the child placed with the family are met.
The team at Lotus will ask you what type of care you are interested in providing. The assessment process will take this into consideration, with the aim that your approval as a foster care matches your skills, knowledge and experience.
Short term foster care is for children and young people whose care plan is uncertain due to various factors. The child may be placed with you following removal from the family home due to concerns, or wherein the parent is unable to provide care due to health concerns.
Short term placements could last from a few days, a few weeks or sometimes a number of years. The child may return home, move to live with other family members who have been assessed, or move into a long term fostering or adoption placement.
Long term foster care is for children and young people who will not be returning to birth family. Long term care requires a commitment from the foster carer to provide care for as long as is needed. This may be up to the age of 18 years. In long term foster care the children and young people remain in the care of the Local Authority and fostering regulations apply throughout the time they are living with you. As a long-term foster carer you will get to see the young person in your care flourish into a young adult, the rewards gained from this are multiple. As their foster carer you will build a strong relationship with the young person as you guide them through their childhood and meet the challenges along the way.
Many short term placements are placed in an emergency. Foster carers will not have the opportunity to meet the child or young person beforehand. Due to the nature of the emergency, they may be brought to you by a duty social worker or the Police. The child or young person will require additional reassurance and welcome from you. A great deal of flexibility from our foster carers is required as once you have agreed to a placement they will quickly be placed with you. Emergency fostering usually lasts for a few days while the future plans for the child are made, however it can sometimes lead to a short-term or long-term placement. Lotus Foster Care operates an out of hours service for Local Authorities, therefore we also receive referrals for placements outside of office hours. Foster carers are asked beforehand if they would be prepared to accept a placement at any time of the day or night.
We know that it is important for siblings to remain together where possible when they need a foster care placement. There may be occasions when siblings cannot be all placed together due to concerns of behaviour or risk. Fostering sibling groups can sometimes be challenging and demanding, but it is also extremely rewarding. We are looking for more foster carers who want to give brothers and sisters a stable family home, particularly those who can care for the larger sibling groups.
Child and parent fostering is where you offer a home to both (or maybe to both parents and the child). The parent may be under 18 and will be a looked after child themselves. Sometimes they will be placed during the pregnancy so you can help them prepare.
There are a number of reasons why a parent may require a placement. They may need additional support, help and advice, and your role will be to teach and support so they can move to independence. Or there may be significant concerns about parenting capacity and assessments are being made about their capacity to provide care to their child. In this situation as a foster carer you will be contributing to the assessments, maintaining clear and concise recordings to provide to the social worker and Court.
Child and parent foster carers are provided with specialist training and require approval by the fostering panel.
We are looking for foster carers across the UK to specialise in unaccompanied and asylum seeking fostering. Many of these young people have been separated from their families, either in their Homeland or during transit to the UK. As you can expect, these children are often extremely distressed and frightened as a result of the overwhelming experience they have been through. Fostering young people who are seeking asylum does come with its challenges but is also hugely rewarding as you start see them settle into their new life in the UK. In some cases the children will speak little or no English.
As a foster carer specialising in asylum seeking fostering, you can help and teach these children the skills they need to successfully build a new life and ways to overcome their traumatic past. We will work very close with you and provide specialist training to help you support children who are seeking asylum.
We try to place children and young people with families where some of the culture or language may be known about the young person to be placed. However, this is not always possible, and we therefore want foster carers who are resourceful and will be able to facilitate the young person to maintain their culture.
Lotus provides specialist training to foster carers to further support and promote the needs of the young person in placement.
Respite fostering is when you provide care for a child or young person over a short period of time, usually somewhere in between a weekend to a fortnight. Respite or short break foster care gives families and foster carers a network of support when they most need it.
As a respite carer you will join your local network of carers to support each other with respite care when required. We all know looking after a family and fostering is a demanding role so when things do get tough and you need time away, you can be there to provide that much-needed support.