Hands holding paper cut out of family

Long-term or permanent fostering

Long-term foster care and permanent foster families make a huge difference to children and young people in care. Foster carers commit to caring for a child or children until they reach an age where they can live independently, offering them a lasting home. 

Children and young people who need long-term fostering are unable to live with, or return to their birth family. There are many reasons why children or young people need to live away from their birth family. The courts will decide the best option to make sure children are safe, stable and can grow throughout their childhood in a ‘permanent’ home. In other cases birth parents or extended family may not be able to look after the child and it is their decision that their child is placed in care.

A child's journey to secure a lasting home is individual and unique. We respect all children's developmental needs, views and wishes, and support them on their journey to secure a lasting home in the way that is right for them.


Children that need long-term foster homes

If a child or young person needs to live away from their birth family, we need to look at the best option for them. It's not always appropriate for them to be adopted. This may be due to their age, their need to maintain regular contact with their birth families or due to their needs. Some children also need to be with their brothers and sisters or have ongoing, regular contact with them if placed elsewhere.

For those children we would consider a permanent foster carer who can look after them until they’re adults.

For younger children, early permanence allows potential adopters the opportunity to look after a baby or child during the early weeks and months of their lives.

Read more about early permanence options on the Adoption Lancashire & Blackpool website.

Benefits for children and young people

Permanent foster care provides a sense of belonging for children and young people. Many of our children may experience frequent moves. A long-term foster home provides them with stability and continuity of care. They will benefit from being in a secure and stable environment, living with a loving family that can support them through childhood and beyond. Over time these children will develop a sense of commitment, identity and belonging.

Our permanent foster carers support children and young people by acting as role models, mentors and by demonstrating positive parenting. They help children to enjoy and achieve in their education and support them to develop skills for independence.

Staying put 

Some young people remain with their former foster carers after they turn 18. This helps them to prepare for the transition to adulthood. It can be hard leaving home for fostered young people. They can feel socially isolated and struggle with the challenges of living on their own.

Staying put arrangements can extend foster placements for longer. This allows young people to receive further support within the family and household.

Becoming a long-term foster carer

We assess the foster carer's ability to meet the current and future needs of the child or young person. The wishes and feelings of the child are also considered. We also identify any support to assist with this. We consult with the Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) and, where appropriate, the child's relatives.

Once the arrangements are confirmed with the foster carer, the child and their birth parents, a new plan is prepared and signed by the foster carer.

We need you!

We are currently looking after many Lancashire children who would benefit from a permanent foster family. We're always looking to work with Lancashire families who can offer a loving home to children in our care.

Want to find out more? We'd love to help

Contact us for an informal chat or confidential advice. Our experienced staff are ready to answer your questions.

You can contact the team in the following ways:

You can also learn about other types of fostering.

Get in touch

Foster child and foster dad

Make a difference to a child's life and foster for Lancashire.

Contact our friendly team

If you'd prefer to speak to someone give us a call on:

0300 019 0200