Foster care is a temporary child protection solution to give you time as a parent to get organised and prepared to take care of your child yourself. Foster care is legal, when conducted in accordance with the Children’s act, and is a good temporary solution to keeping a child safe and secure if his or her own family cannot take her them. You will be able to remain in contact with your child, but this is a temporary relief solution and should result in your reunification with your child after no longer than two years. Foster parents are entitled to a foster care grant which they can apply for at their local Department of Social Development.
Being a temporary solution, there are some concerns that you will need to be aware of, if you make this choice. Foster care can never replace a family environment where a child has a sense of permanence and feels like they belong. The child may struggle with the issue of having an inconsistent carer, they may not be able to bond with a primary care giver and as a result they could feel insecure and struggle with their sense of identity as they grow up.
To help you make this decision, it is advisable that you get hold of a counsellor, social worker, child protection organisation or your local representative of the Department of Social Development who can assist you. To find an organisation close to you, please click here. Alternatively, please contact our call centre on 0800 864 658 for immediate assistance