Long-Term Foster Care

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Long-Term or Permanent Foster Care

Sometimes a child will come into foster care on what is expected to be a short-term fostering placement, but events make it impossible for the child to return home. Sometimes a family decides to long-term foster a child instead of adopting him because they anticipate that they will need a high level of support for many years and want to be sure of access to it. Sometimes an older child will come into foster care and be adamant that he doesn't want to be adopted.
Any of these reasons can lead to long-term or permanent fostering. That is, the child remains in care until he is a legal adult. Ideally a child will stay in the same home for the whole time, but unfortunately many children get moved from one placement to another every few years or even months.

A stable long-term foster placement can seem very much like an adoption to the child and foster parents, but there is no real security because "permanent" fostering is generally not considered the best option by social services. Many long-term foster parents maintain their relationship with the children they have cared for after they grow up. Although the foster care subsidy stops at 18 (sometimes replaced by other allowances for people who are unable to live independently), long-term foster parents may have their adult foster children still living at home, just as if they were born-to or adopted, because the parent-child relationship of love and care has become permanent, transcending the legal technicalities. But foster children will not inherit if you die intestate, nor do they classify as your children in your will. If you as a foster parent want your foster children to inherit they must be unambiguously named in your will.

In recent years, the U.S. has seen a number of kinship applications for long-term or "permanent" foster care, often called "Relative Foster Care." In these cases, a child's relatives have undertaken or want to undertake his care but the financial burden is unmanageable. With the assistance of foster parent care allowances, the child can remain within the family. There are few such formalized programs.

Credits: Some materials in this article were contributed by Roger R. Fenton

Visitor Comments (6)
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CARLA - 8 months ago
0 0 1
Demaya- Contact your children youth and services dept. in your county. They will be able to answer all you question. Cathy- It all depends on your county agency . Some are already included in your daily allotment for the children. Barbara- Dogs aren't a problem. You just have to provided yearly updated immunization for them #1
Cathy - 2 years ago
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I would like to know if as a foster parent who provides transportation to the child on a monthly basis for ortho treatments can get reumbersment for millage? #2
Maureen - 2 months ago
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I am being told that because we are at the1 year mark, we either have to opt for adoption or permanent custody. That we can no longer foster my niece and nephew. I do not feel this is right , we hptook them in when their mom died, have given them the live and support they very much needed and now because financially we cant afford to care for them without assistance , we lose them to ANOTHER foster home. There must be something we can do. Please help. xxxx #3
credonia - 1 year ago
0 0 1
I would like to extend my home and prepare a foster care facility for several children in need of care #4
Kim - 2 years ago
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What other information do u have on kinship care? #5
demaya watts - 1 year ago
4 0 1
I would like to foster a infant how would I go by doing that #6
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