12 June 2023

Breaking down short-term fostering: find out about fostering in the North West

Breaking down short-term fostering: find out about fostering in the North West

Overview: Find out about short-term fostering in the North West to inform your fostering choices. Answering essential questions about how short-term fostering works and explaining the role of short-term foster carers. Plus, how much short-term foster carers are paid, including Lancashire fostering allowances. 

One common fostering misconception is that becoming a foster carer always means looking after a child on a full-time long term basis. There are undoubtedly many children who need a safe and loving home on a permanent basis. But short-term fostering is, in fact, the most common type of fostering in the UK. And it’s in demand in the North West, too. 

What do short-term foster carers do?

Children come into short-term fostering for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes there is a family illness or bereavement, or substance misuse or suspected abuse has made it unsafe to live in their home. The role of a short-term foster carer is to provide security, safety and reassurance during difficult times in a child’s life. It’s a fulfilling role where you can make a difference, even if a child stays with you for a short time.

As a short-term foster carer, you’ll welcome a child into your home and look after them full-time. You’ll make sure they get to school, be there to chat with them about their day and take them to activities. You’ll also help children to maintain connections with the important people in their lives, like friends and family. You may need to take them to regular contact with their parents at the same time as social services carry out assessments and offer support.

We will always aim to return children to their homes. Some children will reunite with their parents and primary carers, while others may move on to permanent foster care. Foster carers work closely with social workers to ensure children are able to adjust to the significant changes in their lives. When the time comes, you will offer support and help children to understand their circumstances and next steps. Children may also stay with you while they’re becoming adopted. And again, your role will be to nurture and prepare them, facilitating meetings so they can get to know their adoptive family.

How long is a short-term foster placement?

According to gov.uk, the role of a short-term foster carer is to “look after children for a few weeks or months while plans are made for their future”. There’s no set length of time for short-term fostering; every child and family’s circumstances are different. Sometimes a child may stay with you for just a few days while a parent recovers from illness. You might also need to support and look after a child full-time for several months. In some instances, you could step in and look after a child for just a few days. 

Do you get paid for short-term fostering?

As a short-term foster carer, you will have the chance to see children who have gone through some of life’s hardest challenges begin to flourish. We want you to be able to focus on providing the best possible short-term foster care to those who stay with you. We are an independent agency, so we set our own fostering rates. We offer a generous financial and support package for foster carers. We also review our fostering rates annually to ensure foster carers receive the financial support they need.

Lancashire fostering allowances

As a short-term foster carer, you can expect to receive a weekly allowance of upwards of £428. And in most cases, this allowance is tax-free. More information about pay and allowances can be found on our payment and benefits page. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to contact our friendly and knowledgeable carer enquiries team, who can guide you.

Find out about fostering in the North West

If you’d like to learn more about fostering in the North West, we’d love to talk to you. Foster Careline is an independent agency established in 2010; we are committed to improving outcomes for children and young people. We offer foster care services across the North West in Liverpool, Lancashire and surrounding areas, including Southport, Preston, Blackpool, St. Annes, Morecambe, Lancaster, Wigan, Chorley and Warrington. We also cover the Merseyside area, including Runcorn, Widnes, Wirral, Knowsley and St. Helens. We regularly run in-person ‘find out about fostering’ events across these areas, where you can learn more about fostering with us in the North West. 

Facts about fostering in the North West

  1. Since 2014, we’ve worked with over 32 foster carer families in the North West
  2. Our foster carers can access FREE specialist training both at our hub and closer to home. Each foster carer receives a tailored training programme; we run at least monthly training sessions through the year, with additional bespoke training as required.
  3. Foster Careline runs a calendar of events each year with activities every school holiday. These events allow foster families and children to meet and socialise with other looked-after children and foster families. 

Want to find out more about the skills and qualities we’re looking for in a short-term foster carer? We would love to hear from you! You can submit an online enquiry or call us on 0151 378 6873.