When people have a heart for making a difference in the lives of others, they may consider becoming a foster parent. This is one of the greatest things a person can choose to do for others, since children, disabled people, and the elderly are often at their most vulnerable during the time when they are placed in the custody of the state or other foster care organization.
Before signing up to be a foster parent or caregiver, though, you’ll need to undergo training and utilize caregiving education and resources available in your community. Your first step should be understanding the difference in the various types of foster care so you can make an informed decision about which type of care you’d like to provide. Here’s more information about some of the most common types of foster placement in the United States:
Short-Term Foster Care
In most cases of juvenile foster care, the program encourages a short-term stay. This is because the ultimate goal of these foster programs is to reunite children with their biological parents. Any placement of a person under the age of eighteen – sixteen in some areas – of over 28 days with a person who is not closely related to them is considered to fall into this category.
Long-Term Foster Care for Disabled Individuals
Children and young adults who need major physical or mental modifications for everyday tasks may benefit from longer-term placement with a foster family or provider. These placements generally pay more than typical foster placements, since the degree of care and the needs of the foster child are much higher. These programs may also take place either in the traditional home setting or elsewhere, in more medically-specialized environments.
Adult/Elderly Foster Care
One of the least discussed, but most desperately needed types of foster care is that offered to elderly or disabled adults. In these programs, people who are not related to these seniors by blood play the role of a younger, more able-bodied caretaker. This role might otherwise fall to a family member, but in many circumstances, actual family members are unavailable to provide care. Adult foster care providers offer non-medical care to individuals over the age of sixty-five or who have a profound physical or mental disability.
For more information about adult foster care training, contact FSL of Arizona.