Foster carers do need to be patient, empathetic and able to understand the feelings of children who have been experiencing a crisis in their life. We want our MK children to stay in MK and this is why it is essential to have as many Foster Carers in our local community as possible.

If this sounds like you, then full training and guidance is given to enable you to develop these qualities that are already in you, so you may just be the right kind of person to foster a child or young person.

We're looking for a lot of different foster carers in the sections below you can find out more about the different roles:

Short Term Foster Carers

Short Term foster carers provide short term placements to children/young people who are in the care of Milton Keynes Council. The period of care might be for a few days, a few months or sometimes longer, carers need to be flexible about how long a child can stay with them. The essential feature is that the placement is temporary whilst plans are made for the child's future and permanence secured.

Long Term Foster Carers

Long Term foster carers provide a permanent home to children and young people where the plan for the child / young person is not to return home to their family and for whom adoption is not the best option. It is expected that the child / young person would live with foster carers until they reach 18 years and in some circumstances, longer. The important factor for foster carers who offer permanence is that the child/ young person becomes a part of the family.

Emergency Foster Carers

Emergency foster carers provide short term care for children and young people where there is a need for them to be in a safe and secure environment at very short notice. Emergency fostering placements could be due to a number of unanticipated occurrences or events such as violence in the child’s or young person’s home, parent taken to hospital with a sudden illness, death of a parent or an accident or safeguarding issue.

Parent and Child Placements

Parent and child foster placements are where a parent/parents and their baby or young child/ren come to live with you in your home. This is a unique type of placement as it involves opening your home to both a parent and their child, rather than just a child or young person who needs somewhere to stay while other arrangements can be made for them.

Often, parent and child foster placements are used as an alternative to residential family centres and they provide the parent and their child with a safe place to stay. The parents involved in this type of placement are in need of support and guidance in order to care for their child safely.

When you’re a foster carer, traditionally you will be responsible for caring for a child or young person, but this type of placement is different and you may take on less of a ‘parenting role’. Instead, you will be providing guidance to help and enable the parent to learn how to care for their own child. There maybe an expectation that you provide information to professionals about the progress of the parents' ability to care for their child.

Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC)

We need to increase our number of approved foster carers to look after unaccompanied asylum seeking children. The children and young people will require a range of placements from short-term emergency through to longer term foster care.

Most of the unaccompanied young people who are likely to need foster placements are from a range of countries across the Middle East and Africa. However there may also be children placement needs from any country, gender and age.

UASC are amongst the most traumatised and vulnerable children due to their experiences in previous countries.  In some cases the young people will speak little or no English when they arrive, and may have travelled for many weeks and months before arriving here. Such experiences mean that they will need time, space and support from people and families who can offer a safe home to allow them to begin to rebuild their lives.

Milton Keynes Council is particularly interested in speaking to people who have considerable experience of young people with trauma and/or experience of one or more of the countries or cultures of origin that these young people are likely to come from.  As a foster carer you can help these children overcome their traumatic past and give them the skills to build a new life.

Respite Foster Carers

Respite foster carers provide short breaks to fostering families to help maintain a child or young person in their own family by relieving stressful situations and potentially more serious breakdown. These are usually one-off periods of care however in some instances we match you with a particular child so that they can benefit from regular respite with the same foster carer. Respite carers also offer support to other foster carers by caring for a child who is placed with those foster carers to ensure the placement succeeds for all concerned.

This takes place in the respite carer’s home can vary from a few hours to overnight stays. The process of assessment and approval is the same as foster carers and their approval is recommended at the fostering panel.

Supported Lodgings

Supported Lodgings is shared accommodation where the Supported Lodgings Carer provides a young person with practical and emotional support with a view to increasing their confidence and readiness to move on into independent living.

From the age of 16 some young people decide that they want to be more independent than within a foster home, but they either lack confidence or the skills required for them to move into their own bedsit/hostel accommodation. Supported Lodgings offers them the opportunity to experience elements of independence within a supportive and encouraging environment.

Reasons why a young person may enter Supported Lodgings:

In Milton Keynes we have a constant need for carers for young people aged 16 to 21 who are unable to live at home with their families. This could be for many different reasons – for example:

• Young person is leaving the care of the Milton Keynes Council

• Young person has been asked to leave the family home

• Family breakdown

• Young person has been in trouble

• Young person has been misusing drugs and/or alcohol and needs a supportive environment to help them change

• Risk of harm

Young people who are unable to live at home can be extremely vulnerable. In many respects these young people may appear to be confident but they do not have the skills and confidence to live alone successfully.

Without the security of a safe place to live and the guidance of caring and responsible adults there is a strong possibility that many of these young people may fail – ending up jobless and homeless and with little hope of things getting better.

Fostering Recruitment Team contact information