Short term placements can last from a few months to two years. These arrangements are made for children for whom the plan is to return home to their family. Often foster carers assist the child’s family to make the changes they need to be able to safely resume care of their child.
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Why do children need Short Term Foster Care?
For most children and young people who come into care, the preference is for them to return to their parents or other family as soon as possible. Short Term Foster Carers look after children while the parents and family make the changes required to provide a safe secure home.
The child will maintain contact with their family during this period and the Foster Carer will assist in enabling this to happen. Where possible and when all parties agree, the Foster Carer will offer help to the parents in building their capacity to offer safe care to the child.
If it becomes clear that it is not possible for the child to safely return to family, another permanent solution will be sought such as Long Term Fostering or Guardianship.
Duration of Care
When a child first comes into care it may not be clear how long they will need foster care. Children may stay with Short Term Carers for several weeks or for as long as two years.
How we support our carers
Being a foster carer is one of the most challenging yet most rewarding things you’ll ever do. It truly is a life-changing experience – not just for you and your family, but for the children you help too.
At Key Assets, you will never be alone in facing those challenges and celebrating the rewards. The support we offer will guide you through the ups and downs of fostering.
We are there for you and you can talk to a member of our team whenever you need to. Even outside office hours we have a staff member always on call so help is just at the end of the phone.
You and your social worker will have regular contact. You will collaborate in finding the most effective ways of responding to the needs of the child in your care.
All foster carers need a rest sometimes. Respite carers will look after the child in your care for short periods so you can get some time and space to yourself with your family. We try and place the child with the same Respite Carer each time so they get to know each other.
You will receive a non-taxable Foster Care Subsidy to help support the child. This allowance varies between states as, in some states, it is decided not by Key Assets but by the state government. The subsidy will also depend on the type of foster care you are doing and the needs of the child in your care.
There’s nothing like sharing stories, experiences and information with fellow foster carers. We organise regular foster carer groups to help you build a network of people who can share the rewarding experiences and who also understand when the going gets tough.
Depending on the placement, we will assign skilled support workers to the child or young person if they need extra help. For example, Support Workers might work with a child struggling at school, who needs help with building life skills such as shopping or handling money, or attending a sports group.
Activities and days out
Having fun and learning as a family is great for your relationships. We organise social, cultural, sporting and educational activities for your whole family to get involved in.
Your health and well-being is very important. All our Foster Carers and their immediate families have access to our Employee Assistance service which you can use anonymously and at no charge.
Your professional development as a foster carer is extremely important. We provide training across all aspects of foster care to help you build your skills and knowledge in working with children who have suffered harm.
Carers looking after Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander children are expected to keep those children closely in touch with their culture. The same is true for children of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. We will provide you with the help and resources so you can do this.
Key Care Team®
Our Key Care Team combines all the people around the child or young person in foster care. This will include Key Assets Social Worker and Therapist and also departmental and health workers. The Foster Carer is included as an important member of the team. The idea is that all members communicate with each other, work together, and share the same goals and priorities for the child.
We’ll help you join the fostering association in the state in which you live.