Emergency fostering is when children need somewhere safe to stay for up to 72 hours and time-limited fostering is when carers look after children for up to two years, while long term plans are made for the child’s future.
For children and young people who are unable to return to live with their birth family we very carefully choose alternative permanent carers. Our long term foster carers look after children until they reach maturity and independence.
Part-time fostering roles offering placements to children and young people when their usual foster carers need to take a short break from fostering.
The Link Short Breaks Scheme provides short breaks to disabled children living with their families. Link carers are linked to a disabled child and their family in order to provide overnight care to the child in their own home, giving the family a much needed break from their caring role, as well as new experiences for the disabled child. Link carers vary in how much care they provide. It can be 1-2 overnights a month up to 208 nights a year. A carer can look after one child, or have several children placed with them, so the work can be flexible and fit in with existing commitments or can become a full time job.
Skills and experience
The children we support have a wide range of disabilities and health needs. Children will usually attend a Special School and their needs can include non-verbal communication methods, moving and handling needs, complex health needs including gastrostomy and severe epilepsy, complex sensory needs that sometimes means their behaviour can be challenging to manage, and dependency on others to meet their personal and intimate care needs.
Carers therefore need to have some experience of looking after children with additional needs and to have the skills to work sensitively with families. Carers will need to enjoy working with vulnerable children and have good energy levels and a sense of fun. Carers will need to work closely with a range of professionals, to have good communication skills, and be able to maintain written records.
Support for carers
- Link carers have a link co-ordinator who provide's ongoing support and advice, meeting with Link carers regularly to discuss their caring role and whether any issues or challenges have cropped up.
- Link carers are able to access specialist training relevant to the specific needs of the child they’re caring for, as well as having access to the training offer for mainstream foster carers.
The Supported Lodgings scheme provides young people aged between 16 and 21 years old with a room in a friendly home and the support and guidance of an adult or adults living there.
Supported Lodgings carers support young people to gain the independence skills and confidence they need as they transition to adulthood and independent living. This will include help with preparing meals, washing and budgeting as well as emotional support and guidance. Our carers provide less intensive support and lower level of supervision compared to foster carers. This makes it possible for Supported Lodgings carers to continue paid employment alongside their caring role.
Who can become a supported lodgings carer?
We are looking for people who feel they can offer approachable, open-minded support to a young person in order to help prepare them for independence. You need to live within easy access of good public transport links and have a spare room in your home. Carers can be single, married or living with a partner. Carers may have adult children who have moved out of home, children still at home or may not have had any children of their own.
What support do supported lodgings carers receive?
Cambridgeshire County Council provide a comprehensive support package including preparation training, ongoing support. Carers are paid £250 per week while a young person is placed with them.
Parent and baby placements provide a safe and nurturing environment for both the young parent and their child. The carers provide mentoring and practical advice on parenting.
When a child can't carry on living with their parents, we will always try to maintain them within their wider family. Relatives can be assessed as kinship foster carers. If you'd like to be considered as a foster carer for a child who is both related to you and in the Local Authority’s care (or might come into our care) please contact the child's social worker in the first instance.