The heart of foster care
Did you know that there are over 4.000 foster families in Flanders today? Even close to home, there are vulnerable children and youngsters or adults with a disability or a psychiatric background in need of help. Often because their parents are not able to care for them and a short or long stay away from home is required. Foster families offer those children and adults a chance to a new future.
For Foster Care Flanders, nothing is more important than te wellbeing of the children and adults in foster care as well as the continued support for their parents and families, and for our foster families. Our social workers have the experience and skills to make a difference and help them move forward positively with their lives.
A wide range of foster placements
A wide and varied range of placements is possible. As a foster family, you decide what kind of commitment you are willing to offer: weekends, holidays, short or long term foster care. Foster placements can be not only for children and youngsters, but also for adults with minor or severe disabilities or a psychiatric background (foster guests). They can last for a few days, weeks, months or even years, depending on the individual needs and the specific situation of the child or adult.
- Supportive foster care
When a family provides a home for a foster child or guest for a short period of time, we speak of supportive foster care. The placement can be for a few days, a couple of weeks or months, or now and again during weekends or holidays. From the start, it is clear that the help offered by the foster family is limited in time. This type of placement is meant for parents who need support and guidance in caring for their own child or young person and gives them a short break and the required time to solve their problems.
- Emergency placements
A sudden crisis can completely shatter a family’s life. When a child or adult with a disability urgently needs a place to stay, an emergency placement with a foster carer can be arranged at short notice. In most cases, foster children or foster guests can return home quickly. In other cases, their parents or family may not be able to care for them and a longer term alternative is required.
- Short-term placements
When parents are temporarily unable to take care of their children, a short stay with a foster family can provide a necessary break for the foster child or foster guest. In these cases, social workers work intensively with the parents to help them get their lives back on track. Short-term placements are mainly for a few months. When returning home is not an option, a long-term alternative is required.
- Long-term placements
A long-term placement is when a foster child or foster guest stays with its foster family for a longer period of time – mostly over a year. A child or young person can even stay with its foster family up and into independence. Even then and if possible, the child or young adult still stays in touch with his or her parents.
Young adults with a disability can stay with their foster families after their 18th birthday. Yet, at some point they will want to spread their wings and seek independence. Adults with a disability or psychiatric background who arrived in their foster families after their parents died, can grow old in their new home…
- Treatment foster care
In addition to short-term or long-term foster placements, it is possible for foster parents, foster children and foster guests to ask for additional support. When faced with psychiatric problems, behavioural disorders or emotional difficulties, foster children and foster guests can apply for specialised therapeutic support. In some cases, we deliver extra support services (training, advice,…) to the foster parents to ensure that each foster child or foster guest has the very best chance of stability and success.