BMFFA is committed to provide a range of diverse types of foster placements to ensure that individual needs and circumstances of referred looked after children are best matched with the knowledge, skills and experience of our foster carers.
BMFFA will work with the placing authority right from the outset to ensure that there is an effective contribution by the foster carers and the Agency towards assessment and care planning process for the children and young people placed with us.
In order to achieve a wide range of foster placement choices and options, BMFFA has a robust and wide ranging recruitment strategy to attract adults and families across the board to apply for fostering.
BMFFA aims to provide the following Types of Foster Placements:
BMFFA provides foster placements for children and young people who require one in emergency, particularly during out of working hours. BMFFA will work with the placing authority on the next working day to ensure that effective plans are in place for the children and young people placed with us.
BMFFA provides foster placements for short-term care that could be for a few days, weeks or months, whilst assessment is undertaken and care plans are made for the children’s and young people’s future. BMFFA and its foster carers are committed to work in partnership with the placing authority and relevant professionals for implementation of the agreed plans.
BMFFA provides appropriate foster placements for children and young people, where adoption or special guardianship is not an option and they require long-term care through to adulthood.
BMFFA is committed to principles and process of permanency planning for children looked after and the need to achieve legal permanency within children’s timescales. Where appropriate, in accordance with permanency plans and in the best interests of children, BMFFA will encourage and support its foster carers to provide legal permanency to the children in their care. Equally, whenever required, BMFFA and its foster carers will work in partnership with relevant professionals to support the children to move to permanent foster placements.
BMFFA can provide foster carers who are able to take large sibling groups. These foster carers are experienced in dealing with such foster placements and the complex dynamics they create. Their experience covers both short and long-term foster placements. In addition, where siblings are placed separately, BMFFA will encourage and facilitate frequent contact in order for them to develop and maintain positive relationships with each other.
BMFFA aims to provide appropriate foster placements for children and young people with additional needs arising out of specific physical / learning disabilities and/or emotional / behavioral difficulties.
BMFFA recognises that foster carers providing homes for children and young people with complex needs require additional support and training. The Agency aims to work actively with specialist services and access optimum support and provision to ensure that children’s and young people’s needs are effectively met including stability of foster placement. Where necessary and in agreement with the placing authority, BMFFA will commission specialist assessment and therapeutic intervention from a pool of qualified and experienced professionals for children and young people. In addition, where required, BMFFA will commission provision of on-going therapeutic support and training for the foster carers from experienced professionals.
BMFFA provides foster carers who will look after children and young people for periods of respite from their main place of care, such as children and young people in residential placements or other foster placements. Because our foster carers are encouraged to get to know each other and the children in foster placements, respite can often be facilitated with the minimum disruption to the children involved.
BMFFA seeks to provide a supportive family environment, in which a young mother/father can develop the necessary parenting skills. This is a flexible scheme designed to offer a range of options to both local authority and young parents. Detailed monitoring and assessment over a fixed time scale can be undertaken, as well as training in areas of identified needs. This may include advice, support and counseling on education, career possibilities, child care issues and issues of personal development.
In accordance with the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 and proposed Care Matters, BMFFA aims to recruit a number of foster carers to provide supported lodgings arrangements to young people for whom a family-based care remains an appropriate option. Where adequate, the scheme would also allow young people to remain with their current foster parents after their 18th birthday, where they continue to need support to complete their education and prepare towards independent living.