Children’s Services teams work very hard to enable children to keep living within their own families whenever possible. If this cannot happen there are several options available, these include placement with extended family, adoption, foster care and residential settings.
Children need to be looked after by a local authority for all sorts of reasons. These include death of parents, domestic violence, parental alcohol or drug misuse and abuse. Each child that comes into the care system has individual needs and the court system will decide on the type of care best suited to them. Local authority children’s services Social Workers are then responsible for finding a suitable placement for them.
Bolton Council will always try to place children with our own foster carers and only when this proves impossible are children placed with private agency carers. There are several types of foster care placements:
Short term fostering
If you become a short term foster carer you will look after a child with a view to that child moving on. This may be back to family, to an adoptive placement or into a long term foster placement.
Short term placements can last anything from a single day up to three years and will be different for every child. If there are serious concerns about a child's welfare and safety this may also involve the courts in making decisions about the child's future. Because of this short term foster carers need a great deal of flexibility and resilience.
Long term fostering
Adoption is not appropriate for every child and some children may not be able to return home or go to other family members. When this is the case children may need long term foster carers to provide stability and a caring and loving family environment until they reach independence.
A child may keep in contact with their birth family even though they are not able to live with them on a permanent basis and foster carers are expected to promote this and include this as part of their family life.
Family and friends fostering
This is short term or permanent foster care offered by people related to or previously known to a child.
This is foster care provided by highly skilled and experienced foster carers. We ask them to look after children with complex health, behaviour or disability needs and, because of this, we offer a higher level of financial reward.