Types of foster care
A short term placement can be anything up to two years. It is
also called 'task-centred' because the placement will continue
until the task in hand is complete. The task could be getting a
child ready to move on to an adopted family, rehabilitating back
home to their parent(s) or caring for the child while extended
family are being assessed to care for him/her.
Children may be placed in task-centred foster care for a number
of reasons. We may need to place a child with you while we draw up
a longer-term plan for his or her upbringing or carry out a period
of assessments. If it's possible we aim to return the child to his
or her own family within three months but sometimes this just can't
be done. In some cases, children in task-centred care need to be
looked after for up to two years and it's important that you help
them to maintain links with their family during this time.
Sometimes children are not able to go back and live with their
own families even though they may want to. That's when we look at
placing them into long-term foster care, (i.e. a forever family)
often until adulthood (18 years old). It's a big responsibility but
also a fabulous chance to offer a stable, safe and supportive
environment where a child will feel loved and cared for. You may
need to help the child in your care to keep in touch with his or
Respite carers are asked to help look after a child for perhaps
a day, weekend or slightly longer. They often support short term
carers to enable them to have a well-earned break every now and
Sometimes our established foster carers are linked with respite
carers to help them care for a child together in a mutually
supportive way. It may also be that a task-centred foster carer has
a pre-booked holiday organised or in need of medical attention.
Whatever the circumstances our respite carers help support carers
who have full time placements.
Specialist Foster Care
This is probably one of the most challenging types of
foster care but also one of the most rewarding. Here carers look
after children and young people with complex needs or disabilities
and children and young people with significant challenging
This scheme provides short breaks in partnership with parents,
for children and young people with a disability. The majority of
these children live with their birth families and are not in the
care of the department.
It may be important for families of disabled children to have an
occasional break whether for a day, a weekend or during the school
holidays. After all, parents need to spend time with their other
children, or just each other, knowing that their child is happy and
well cared for in a loving family home.
Short break caring is a planned process and usually you'll care
for a disabled child for regular, short periods. This type of
foster care gives you the incredible opportunity to look after many
different children and young people with their own personalities
It's usual that you work with the same families for a number of
years and it is envisaged that our carers will forge supportive
friendships with the families of the disabled children.
Becoming a Short Break carer is one way for people who would
like to become foster carers but are unable to foster full time,
perhaps because of work or other commitments. This is a new
and expanding scheme and we are on the lookout for Short
Break carers as well as for full time carers!
Term time host
The term time host scheme is designed to assist those parents
and others with parental responsibility from Alderney, Herm and
Sark, whose children attend school or College (post 11+) in
Guernsey, to obtain suitable accommodation for that child during
the school term. Guernsey's Health and Social Care
(HSC) offers a service to parents and others with
parental responsibility which includes carrying out an assessment
of any proposed Term Time Host, their family, the accommodation to
be offered and make a recommendation as to their suitability to
become a Term Time Host.
Any placement of a child with a Term Time Host under this scheme
will be made between the child's parent(s) or guardian and the Term
Time Host. This is not accommodation provided by
HSC or a 'placement' made by the Department. The
child will not be in the care of the Department and will not become
a "looked after child". Those with parental responsibility
for the child retain those responsibilities and duties and are
ultimately responsible for ensuring that the placement is a
suitable one for their child.
As part of the scheme, the Department will provide advice as is
necessary regarding the student's care and maintenance.
To obtain more information about the process, assessment and
checks required for term time care see download: Term time
host information booklet or contact the Fostering and Adoption Team
on 01481 713230.