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Guernsey Foster Care

Will isn't sure how to improve the situation with his family and feels like the world is against him

Types of foster care

Types of foster care

Short term

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.

Long term

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 her family.


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 then.

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 behaviours.

Short break

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 and needs.

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.

Want to become a foster carer?

Call 01481 713230 now!