Short Stays & Occasional Care
School Holiday and Weekend Fostering
Some children and young people go to residential schools and do not have family members to care for them during the weekends and holidays. They need foster carers for these periods of time who will also remain in contact with them and support them during term time.
This is a good choice if you have a job that allows you to have time off at weekends and in school holidays and really want to commit long term to one child, who will grow up with you. Carers receive the fostering allowance when the child stays and a retainer per week for maintaining contact during term time.
Link Foster Carers
This type of foster care involves building a relationship with a child in or coming out of residential care, similar to that of an extended family member. The child does not live with you full time, but will see you regularly by coming over for dinner, joining you for days out and sometimes sleeping over.
Existing foster carers may be well suited to a role as a linked foster carer, working with a number of children. Your Supervising Social Worker can talk to you further about this role. Some new fostering applicants may also be suitable for this type of fostering, depending upon skills and circumstances.
The ‘Linked-Foster Carer Scheme’, is designed to enable Somerset to recruit and retain high quality foster carers, and work with existing internal foster carers who have experience and skills to meet the needs of children within the service.
The Scheme is designed specifically for the support and care of children from residential settings, whereby the care-plan is to step-down to a family environment/into fostering. It is designed around a family model of care, where natural relationships can be built, supported and sustained. The scheme requires Linked-Foster Carers to be an integral part of a child’s life, and in many respects simulating a close relative or natural family friend who has a vested interest into a child’s life, development, wellbeing, and progression.
Linked- Foster Carers will:
- Work with social workers, residential staff, and other professionals to plan, review and adapt plans for good transitions for children from residential settings.
- Work to offer a natural family environment for children, helping children to adjust to family life and to prepare children for long term fostering.
- Work in conjunction with EHWT and the family finders service to tailor support and transition plans for children.
- Be a key person/people in working with children to transition into well-matched fostering homes.
- Will remain closely linked to the child’s long-term foster carer, offering support, advice, and overnight stays when needed and agreed.
- Be active in the child’s life, as a natural extended family member. Link-Foster Carers will remain to be a ‘significant adults’ in the child’s life, and offer support as long as this is needed.