There are several types of foster care you could provide, depending on what works best for you and your family.
We will work with you to decide what age group, gender or number of children you're best suited to look after.
Brothers and sisters
It's really important for brothers and sisters to stay together, so we need foster carers prepared to look after more than one child. It can be very distressing for children to be separated from their adult family members, so we need to make sure brothers and sisters can comfort and support each other at such a difficult time.
Being a teenager can be a confusing, emotional and challenging time for any child, and going through family breakdown or upheaval can make life difficult for some teens. It is vital that vulnerable teenagers get the support and stability they need to help them become well-adjusted adults.
Most of the children who need foster care require a place to stay for a short period, usually between three months and two years. This is while their situation is assessed and long-term arrangements are made, whether the children are going back to their families or moving on to adoption. Foster carers need to be able to make children feel safe and at home during this time, and to help day-to-day life carry on as well as possible.
Sometimes, children are unable to return to live with their family and will either be placed with adopters or looked after by foster carers until they reach adulthood. Providing stability, care and support throughout childhood is one of the most rewarding aspects of permanent or long-term foster care, helping vulnerable children grow into happy and secure young adults.
Sometimes children need somewhere to stay at very short notice and for just a few days. This could start at the weekend or in the middle of the night, so carers offering emergency placements need to be flexible and ready for action.
Carers and parents need breaks too, so respite fostering gives those looking after children the chance to spend time focusing on their own lives and relax for a weekend or a few days.
Family-based overnight short breaks
Parents or carers of disabled children may need regular breaks, sometimes over a long period of years, to support them in the task of bringing up their child. If you have a particular interest in, or experience of working with disabled children, then being a short breaks carer could be for you.
For more information read our family-based overnight short breaks scheme leaflet (pdf / 215 KB).
Family and friends foster care
If you're looking after the child of a relative or friend on a full-time basis, either temporarily or permanently, then this is called family and friends foster care.
No Wrong Door fostering
No Wrong Door is an exciting and innovative programme that is designed to improve radically the life chances of some of our most vulnerable and challenging young people, and reduce the numbers ending up either homeless or in the criminal justice system.
We aim to break the traditional cycle of young people entering the care system in their teenage years, following a path of multiple placements, periods in residential care and placement breakdown. Our hubs are in Harrogate and Scarborough, and these replace former council run children's homes in the county.
- No Wrong Door Hub Community Families. Fostering our most vulnerable young people is an incredible journey - we need foster carers who are available full time and have experience of working with or fostering young people with complex and challenging behaviour. In return we offer a generous fee, support from a great team and the reward of knowing you are making a real difference to the life of a teenager.
- No Wrong Door Supported Lodgings Hosts. If you enjoy making a difference, becoming a host is a great way to earn an additional income. It's not as hands-on as fostering, so suits people who may be working full or part-time. You're not offering a permanent home, but somewhere for a young person to stay until they're ready to live alone.
Both roles also offer an additional opportunity of paid work in one of our children's homes, along with excellent training and development opportunities.
Unaccompanied asylum seeking children in North Yorkshire
Local authorities across the country are taking part in the resettlement of unaccompanied asylum seeking children - young people aged under 18 who are applying for asylum and have no relative or guardian in this country.
It is estimated that on average two or three unaccompanied asylum seeking children a month will be arriving in North Yorkshire over the next couple of years, fleeing conflict or persecution in countries including Afghanistan and Eritrea. Some have been living in camps in Northern Europe. These children and young people are arriving with few belongings and sometimes little grasp of the English language.
On arrival, they undergo an assessment to ensure they are placed in a safe and secure family environment that is the best fit for them. With the estimated numbers of children, Fostering North Yorkshire now needs foster carers who have the skills, compassion and willingness to care for one of these young people who have already been through a lot in their lives.
Foster carers for these children will need to be welcoming, open to learning about new cultures, and able to nurture and encourage them to settle in to life in a new country. Our locally based social work teams, networks of foster carers and quality training will ensure you receive all the support you need. Plus our usual competitive financial packages are in place.
So, if you are able to give time to help a child or young person and you have space in your home to do so, please contact us on 01609 534654 to find out more about fostering asylum seeking children who are separated from their families. You really will be making an enormous difference!