What is continuing care?
Normally, children leave the care system when they reach legal independence at the age of 18. Unfortunately, research shows that these children are likely to have more negative life experiences and outcomes than other young people, with the key reasons often being inadequate preparation or support for the transition to adulthood. By delaying their transition from care, they’re far more likely to enjoy a better life experience in both the short and long-term. Continuing care – sometimes known as ‘Staying Put’ – is designed to help bring this about.
Continuing care at FCA Scotland
Continuing care was introduced into Scotland as part of the Children’s and Young People’s Act 2014, and at FCA Scotland we’re able to offer and support this service, helping many young people confidently start the next stage and chapter of their lives.
Continuing care takes children through to the age of 21, ensuring a more seamless and supported transition to adulthood. It’s available to all young people who are, or have been, in a continuing relationship with a foster carer.
How is continuing care different to fostering?
Even though the fundamentals remain much the same as fostering, continuing care is legally different to fostering.
For example, instead of being described as ‘looked after’, young people become known as a ‘young adult and a care leaver’, while the child’s foster carer becomes known as a ‘former foster carer’. Equally, the foster placement becomes a ‘continuing care arrangement’ and is no longer governed by fostering regulations. Nor is it automatically eligible for the same financial support and incentives, which have to be agreed individually.
Here at FCA Scotland we were quick to realise the benefits of continuing care, and we’ve worked hard to incorporate it within our service. As a result, we’ve put together a strong package of support to ensure it works effectively for everyone. So now, foster carers can extend the care and support they offer beyond the age of 18, provided it’s the right solution for everyone involved.
You’ll receive a generous fostering payment for every week a child or young person is in your care, designed to reward your professionalism and commitment.
Interested in becoming a foster carer with FCA Scotland?
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Other types of fostering
Long term fostering
For a child or young person this means that the care planning process has concluded that they will thrive best if they are cared for away from home on a permanent basis. This type of fostering would mean caring for a child or young person until independence.
Interim fostering involves caring for a baby, child or young person for a few weeks or months while difficulties at home are resolved and is often linked to further assessments of the young person or family members together with court processes.
Short break fostering
Also known as respite fostering, this is where a foster carer takes on the care and support of a child or young person so that the usual foster carer can take a well-deserved break. We offer all of our foster carers respite care every year.
In some cases, it’s often important for the child or young person to be a ‘solo’ placement - in other words, they’re the only child in the home. That means solo fostering is usually only suitable for foster carers without other children in their home.
Keeping brothers and sisters together after being placed in foster care is crucial. This type of fostering focuses on matching sibling groups with foster homes big enough for multiple foster children and foster parents who are capable of meeting their needs.
Calling for huge amounts of care, compassion and patience, this type of fostering often involves handling medications and managing complex care routines, so it’s especially demanding on your time and commitment.
Asylum seeking children
Fostering unaccompanied asylum-seeking children can be extremely rewarding experience as you provide them with a safe and secure home environment. Your role is to support them for as long as they need, helping them adapt to a new culture.
Speak to our team
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