Emergency Care

What is Emergency Fostering?

Emergency carers care for children and young people temporarily, and at short notice, in response to a safety concern. This is often because they are at immediate risk and there is a need for them to be in a safe and secure environment. Due to the nature of the care, carers receive short notice of the child’s arrival, often within 72 hours, and sometimes within only a few hours. The child’s or young person’s safety is always paramount, so carers need to be adaptable as there is often no time for formal planning and thorough introductions.

Most foster carers will experience providing emergency care in their fostering career.

Emergency fostering could be needed due to several reasons. The most common are an unforeseen events or emergency, or because there are safety concerns for the young person, such as abuse or violence within the home. Other reasons a child or young person may need emergency care include: their parents needing to go into hospital with a sudden illness, because of a fire within the home, because of the death of a parent, or an accident or a safeguarding concern.

Emergency foster carers provide children and young people with a safe, caring, and understanding temporary home. They also provide support and comfort to the child or young person during a stressful and upsetting time.

How long do emergency foster carers care for?

Emergency fostering is a temporary arrangement that could last for a few hours, a weekend, or a few weeks, depending on the circumstances. Our team will aim to find the best solution as quickly as possible.

Why emergency foster care is so important?

Emergency foster care may be required at any time of the day or night, including over weekends.

Foster carers provide children and young people with a caring and thoughtful environment, which offers understanding and warmth. This is vital at a time when children and young people need it the most, and will help them feel safe, supported, and settled in a deeply challenging time.

Who can offer emergency foster care?

Foster Carers will often know little about the circumstances of the child or young person and will need to be flexible and adaptable in these times. Emergency foster carers need to be well equipped in their understanding and parenting approaches, and show understanding and resilience.

With Fostering in Somerset’s extensive training and support package, we will help carers develop the skills and ability to feel confident in caring and supporting children and young people.

Both carers going through the assessment process and approved carers can become emergency foster carers. If you are an existing carer, we would encourage you to arrange an initial discussion with your Assessing Social Worker or Supervising Social Worker for more information on this role. If you are not an existing foster carer, please register your interest by contacting us via this form or calling 0800 587 9900. You're not committing to anything by getting in touch to find out more.

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