Foster Care Placements

Numerous children continue to enter the foster care system every day, each with a different background and unique situation. In an effort to provide the proper care and accommodations for the multitude of foster care children that need a caring and stable environment, there are various types of placements that can occur so that all individual needs are addressed. If you are new to the foster care system, becoming familiar with the different kinds of placements can be helpful in deciding which one(s) would best suit you and your family as foster parents.

Emergency

Emergency foster care happens unexpectedly and on very short notice. Children removed from unsafe circumstances may need a place to stay for one night or for a few weeks, depending on the specific situation. Immediate relocation of a child may be due to something as extreme as abuse or as simple as a parent’s failure to follow court orders. Emergency foster families must always be prepared to provide food, shelter, clothing, and other necessities as soon as they are called upon as well as be able to handle the trauma a child experiences from suddenly being taken away from their parents.

Respite

Whether it’s because of a physical disability or behavioral problems, some children can be more challenging to care for than others, and respite foster placements offer birth, adoptive or other foster parents a break from the intensive nature of such responsibility. These short stays usually last a few hours, a weekend or from one to two weeks and assist in giving permanent guardians the support they need to continue caring for their children effectively.

Long-Term

Long-term foster care is needed when children are unable to return to their birth parents. This is a way of providing a more permanent home life for them until they reach adulthood without committing to an adoption. Oftentimes, older children in the foster care system prefer this type of placement rather than being adopted and will remain in touch with their birth family.

Specialized

Foster placements that are deemed specialized involve children with medical conditions and require families or individuals that have been trained to properly handle their needs. These can be very ill, emotionally disturbed or behaviorally difficult children that demand hands-on, experienced and time-consuming care in a home that promotes love, discipline, and encouragement.