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'It is hard when they leave the home but you are then able to welcome another child into your home'

Elaine And Brian

One area of fostering the couple have dedicated themselves to is bridging foster care which is short-term foster care for young children until an adoptive family has been found and the child is ready to move.


The first time Elaine and Brian did bridging foster care was with a young boy whom they cared for over two years. Elaine reflected on the process and told us, 'at first, the potential adoptive family meet us and other professionals will also visit us to learn more about the child.' The child isn't present at this point, so to begin with it is a conversation about whether it is the right match for the child and the potential adoptive parents. The couple played a massive part in this and were provided photos and videos to show their young person so they could begin to familiarise themselves with what will soon be their new family and forever home. The couple recalls, 'there were many visits in the lead-up and by the end, the little boy we cared for was very excited to be heading onto his next stage in life.'


Time frames on when a child can leave for adoption can vary, so it took several months until their young person was ready to leave, as everyone involved needed to make sure they were comfortable, and it felt right. Brian shares, 'when the children are excited to go, that is the most important thing and very positive although it is tough for us after supporting them for a long time'. The couple still visit their foster child, who was adopted, and he is always excited to see them. Although they live quite far away, they still enjoy getting updates and like to send birthday and Christmas cards. It is key that a strong foundation must be made ready for any child moving on to adoption to feel as settled as possible.

When a child moves onto adoption, the couple like to make sure when they leave, they have all the belongings that are familiar to them and important, and they can choose what they keep. Often, once a child moves onto adoption, it can take anywhere from 10 weeks to 1 year for the formal adoption to go through, as there is still a settling-in period for everyone. Elaine and Brain are thrilled that the child they supported is flourishing. 


When the young people leave Elaine and Brian's home that can be a tough time for the couple. Elaine recalls 'our social worker has helped us through some difficult times and especially when some of the children we had cared for had moved onto adoption'. The couple remembered after one of their young people had left, they had a long conversation with their social worker on the phone to make sure they were both ok. They remember their social worker talking through things with them and reminding both of them they have done the right thing. Fostering can be tough, and it isn't always easy, but the couple remained professional. Elaine recalls 'you do have time after a child leaves your home to reflect on what has happened and have the support around you when you need it'.

Brain shared 'it is hard when they leave the home but then you remember you are then able to welcome another child into your home and help another young person. This is what it is all about'.


Read more from the couple about therapeutic fostering and how they have supported siblings - We don't feel like fostering is our job, fostering is something we love doing and our passion | Nexus Fostering 


Fostering stories


  • Foster Carer
  • Teenager
  • Therapeutic
  • Advice
  • Adoption
  • Support
  • Long-term fostering

Date published

09 April 2024

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