Our ‘intensive’ foster placements, also known as therapeutic fostering, are for particularly troubled children. Their backgrounds are such that they sometimes communicate their needs through difficult or challenging behaviours, rather than verbally.
Our aim is to support the child to experience the therapeutic benefit of engaging in the process of forming secure, lasting relationships with their foster parents. We also want to provide these children with the basis to form and maintain loving and trusting relationships with others beyond their foster family as they move towards independence.
In our experience, children are much more likely to settle if they are given the very clear message that their foster parents are fully committed to them. For this reason, we do not believe it is in children’s interests to attempt to provide a ‘fix them up and move them on’ service.
Our intensive fostering foster parents
Our ‘intensive’ foster parents are recruited for their thoughtfulness and creativity in responding to children’s needs. They must have the ability to look beyond behaviours to see what a child is trying to communicate.
Vitally, they must demonstrate a real commitment to providing the kind of continuing relationship that is such an important part of the healing process. The child eventually comes to recognise this commitment and responds positively to it.
That’s not to say that there aren’t going to be some bumps along the road. But that’s where AFA’s creative support comes in. We provide resources tailored to each particular circumstance. For example, the provision of direct therapeutic input to the child. Or, when the child is not yet ready for this, clinical supervision for the foster parents in order to help them better understand and respond to the child’s behaviour.
We know very well that foster parents who feel supported sometimes surprise themselves when they are helped to apply skills they were not even aware they possessed. Feedback from our ‘intensive’ foster parents is that it can be challenging, and thought-provoking, and sometimes edge-of-your-seat. But it also hugely rewarding to have such a dramatic positive impact upon children’s lives.
Find out more about why you should choose AFA Fostering to help you on your fostering journey.
Support for intensive foster parents
Our ‘intensive’ foster parents receive support from experienced social workers. We have a very strong record of maintaining ‘hard to place’ children within families.
Our ‘intensive’ foster parents receive enhanced payments in recognition of their skills, their resilience, and their commitment.
Other intensive fostering categories
There are some sub-categories within our ‘Intensive’ service. For example, ‘Solo-Intensive’ where the child would not be placed alongside other children who are also being looked after. And ‘Step-Down from Residential’ where we support children previously living in Residential Care to live in a family.
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Already a foster parent?
We’d love to hear from experienced foster parents too. Find out more about transferring fostering agencies.