Community based foster care
At Fostering First Ireland, our aim is to keep foster children within their community. Community based foster care is so important and something that we value within the agency. Keeping foster children in their community is of paramount importance for several compelling reasons. This practice, known as “community-based foster care,” prioritizes the well-being and long-term success of foster children while fostering a sense of belonging and stability.
The reasons for Community based foster care
Here are some key reasons why it is crucial to keep foster children within their community:
- Maintaining Stability: Moving foster children away from their community, school, friends, and support networks can disrupt their lives significantly. Stability is crucial for children’s emotional and psychological well-being. When they remain in their familiar surroundings, it is easier for them to adapt to their new living situation and continue their education without major disruptions. Community based foster care promotes this stability.
- Preserving Relationships: Foster children often have existing relationships with extended family members, friends, or neighbors within their community. Separating them from these connections can be emotionally distressing and cause feelings of abandonment. These relationships can serve as a source of emotional support and continuity in their lives. Community based foster care helps preserve relationships.
- Cultural Continuity: Many foster children come from diverse cultural backgrounds, and their communities may play a vital role in preserving their cultural identity. Staying within their community allows them to maintain a connection to their cultural heritage, traditions, and values.
- Access to Services: Communities often have resources and services in place to support vulnerable children, such as counseling, mentoring programs, and after-school activities. Keeping foster children in their community ensures that they have access to these essential services and support systems.
- Education and School Stability: Changing schools frequently can have a detrimental impact on a child’s education. It can lead to academic setbacks and disrupt their social development. By keeping foster children in their community, they can continue attending the same school, which provides a sense of normalcy and consistency in their education. Community based foster care means the child may be able to stay in the same school.
- Emotional Well-being: The emotional well-being of foster children is a primary concern. Being uprooted from their community can lead to feelings of isolation, insecurity, and anxiety. Staying within their community allows them to maintain a sense of belonging and comfort.
- Legal and Ethical Considerations: In many jurisdictions, child welfare laws and regulations emphasize the importance of keeping foster children in their community when possible. This is based on the principle that children should be placed in the least restrictive and least intrusive setting that is in their best interest, which often means staying within their community.
- Supporting Reunification: In cases where the goal is to reunify the child with their biological family, keeping them in their community can facilitate supervised visitation and parental engagement, which are critical components of the reunification process.
- Long-Term Outcomes: Research indicates that children placed in community-based foster care tend to have better long-term outcomes, including improved mental health, higher educational attainment, and reduced involvement in the juvenile justice system. This underscores the importance of this approach in fostering positive futures for foster children.
In conclusion, keeping foster children in their community is essential for their emotional, social, and educational well-being. It promotes stability, preserves vital relationships, and ensures access to necessary services. Moreover, it aligns with the fundamental principle that decisions regarding foster care should prioritize the best interests and long-term success of the child. By prioritizing community-based foster care, we can provide foster children with a better chance at a stable, nurturing, and successful upbringing. With the increase of children coming into care and the high demand for more foster carers around Ireland, we are struggling to keep children within their community.
If you have considered fostering, then please get in touch today. The more foster carers, the higher chance of keeping children in care within their communities.
Apply now by filling out an enquiry form on this page or feel free to email our fostering advisor at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you very soon!