Foster Care Placement Types


Foster care placement can last for days, months or sometimes years. While some children return to their birth families, others may stay in foster care for long term or short term periods. There are therefore different types of placements depending on children’s needs.


01. Emergency
Sunbeam provides a 24 hour a day emergency service. Many carers choose to specialise in short term work and are able to accept unplanned, emergency placements. An emergency placement ideally should not exceed few days and it would be anticipated that the child or young person should be moved to a more suitable placement within a week in a planned way.
02. Short Term Placements
Provision of short term care that could be for a few days, weeks or months, whilst plans are made for the child’s future by the Local Authority.
03. Respite Placements
Respite placements are provided to give parents a break or offer additional support if they do not have their own support network. In addition, respite is also offered to our own foster carers and is available in order to support placement demands and needs.
04. Long Term Placements
These placements are where adoption is not an option, and the foster carer will care for a child/young person up to and into adult independence.
05. Parent And Child Placements
Placements are available for mothers and/or fathers and their child, where foster carers can provide support and guidance to parent(s) and help them develop parenting skills. If requested, and by arrangement with the placing Local Authority, a formal assessment of parenting ability can be undertaken by suitably qualified and experienced Sunbeam staff in conjunction with the Sunbeam foster carer. Comprehensive written assessment reports, for use in child protection conferences, planning meetings, statutory reviews or court proceedings, can be prepared.
06. Core Enhanced & Complex Placements
Local Authorities define children and young people's needs and behaviour as either core, enhanced or complex. Where a placement is determined as core the foster carer can expect the common behaviours and needs of those children and young people who have been removed from their birth family sadly because of the loss, bereavement and due to past adverse childhood experiences. For enhanced placements, this would be where the child or young person is suffering from trauma related behaviours to a greater level. After recognising the growing need for therapeutic foster placements we have purchased the licence for the Attachment , Self -Regulation and Competency (ARC ) treatment framework to caring for traumatised children and young people developed by Dr Blaustein and Kristine Kinniburgh of the Trauma Centre, Massachusetts USA. The framework provides overarching principles to assist carers with therapeutic parenting and supervision in order to fully support the child's and young person's emotional well-being. Such placements can vary in time from emergency , short term and long term however we are often looking for carers who will provide a permanent foster placement. Complex placements would also include those young people who are stepping down from a residential placement. Please see our Enhanced Fostering with ARC© booklet for further information. Other complex placements may involve caring for a child or young person with significant health needs or disabilities such as autism, profound global developmental delay and palliative care .
07. Solo Placements
We also care for children and young people who can only be placed in a household where there are no other Looked After Children. This may well be for a number of reasons such as level of risk they pose to other children, the level of need and support they require and as a result the Local Authority request from the onset that the child / young person needs to be placed on their own

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