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What is Fostering?

Fostering is a way of providing stable family life for children and young people who are unable to live with their parents. This allows them the chance to thrive in a safe, secure, loving and caring home environment. Fostering is challenging but rewarding and takes time, patience and commitment.

  • Sunbeam FosteringThe children and young people placed with foster carers are from a diverse range of backgrounds and will display different behaviour depending upon their various experiences.
  • All children and young people are different, making it difficult to define a "typical child”. However, what you can expect is that, as with any child or young person, they need security, stability and the chance to develop and thrive.
  • Fostering differs from adoption, in that an adoption order ends a child's legal relationship with their natural family, whereas looked after children remain the legal responsibility of the local authority and/or their birth parents.
  • Foster care placement can last for days, months or even years. Many children return home to their families but others may receive long-term support; either through continued fostering, adoption, residential care or by being helped to live independently.

Types of Fostering

Sunbeam specialises in offering the following types of placements:

  • Emergency Placements

This type of fostering involves caring for children who need somewhere safe to stay immediately, usually for a few days. This can often happen at very short notice.

  • Short Term (Temporary) Placements

Short-term foster carers provide a temporary place to stay until the child can return home to their own family, move into a longer-term fostering placement or an adoptive family is found.

  • Long Term (Permanent) Placements

These placements are where adoption is not an option, and the foster carer care for a child/young person up to and into adult independence.

  • 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.

  • Bridging Placements

We can provide bridging placements for child or young people while permanency plans are being formulated. In such placements Sunbeam foster carers work with children/young people and their families toward reunification, or prepare children/young people for joining adoptive or long term/permanent fostering families or for moving to a semi-independent or an independent living arrangement.

  • Parent and Child Placements

This type of placement is provided to a mother and/or father and their child/ren, where foster carers can provide support and guidance to the parent(s) and help them develop parenting skills.

  • Disability placements

Sunbeam has a range of carers who have experience and skills in caring for children and young people who are disabled and / or require specialist medical care.

  • Remand Placements

Remand placements are for young people who have been remanded by a court to the care of an experienced foster carer.