What is interim foster care?
Interim fostering involves caring for a baby, child or young person on a short-term, temporary basis while difficulties at home are resolved. The child may be expected to return to their birth family once it's safe to do so, or it might be that a permanent placement needs to be found. Lasting any number of weeks or months up to 24 months, interim care is a crucial type of temporary foster care that provides children with stable homes when they need it most.
How interim fostering differs to other types of fostering
The length of time a child stays in interim care varies from just one night to a few weeks, to several months, or as long as two years. It all depends on the individual circumstances of the child and their family. Usually, getting the child back with their birth family is the ultimate goal, but if this isn't what's best for the child, a more permanent solution will be arranged, such as long-term fostering or adoption.
Compared to other kinds of fostering, interim foster carers often have higher levels of contact with the children’s birth family whilst assessments are underway.
Why children need interim fostering
Usually, interim placements are required when a child's family are unable to look after them for a particular time. A baby, child or young person may need to go into temporary foster care because:
- Their parents or guardians are unwell.
- They may be at risk from harm at home.
- Their parents are finding it difficult to cope with caring for a child at that time.
- The family is going through care proceedings – so the child goes into foster care while decisions are made about who will look after them in the future.
Interested in becoming a foster carer with FCA Scotland?
Do you have the skills and compassion needed to be a foster parent? Enter your town or postcode to find your nearest office or get in touch today.
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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.
Other types of fostering
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.
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.
Emergency Foster Care
Sometimes children need a safe place to stay in the event of an emergency, often with little to no warning. Emergency foster care provides them with that much-needed security when they need it most.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Speak to our team
Whether you’re ready to start your journey or just want to chat to an expert, we're here to talk.