Skip to main content
long-term fostering

Father playing with his foster daughter.

A foster family lends a unique role to children. Foster families nurture children of all ages and also provide security via shelter, food, and medical care. Throughout their relationship, foster parents also work closely with children’s biological families and child welfare professionals to ensure reunification is achieved, as appropriate. Foster families become a bridge for children and families.

Long-Term Fostering

Fostering children long-term enables children to remain within their community while working toward reunification with their biological family. Children are able to maintain relationships with immediate family members, extended family members, friends, coaches, and mentors. Foster parents facilitate visitation, provide transportation, and often invite children’s family members into foster homes to interact with children during day-to-day routines. Bridging with the biological family helps children to achieve permanence more quickly.

Until children reach 18-years of age they can remain in foster care. Bridging children and families through long-term foster care allow biological parents to remain involved with children’s development and important life decisions. Social welfare professionals are available, working closely with all parties of foster care, to provide guidance.

Fostering vs. Adoption

The process and completion of adoption may help foster families and foster children to become more complete.  However, the primary difference between adoption and long-term foster care is that once adopted, the child’s birth parents lose rights and responsibilities regarding the child’s care. Biological families will no longer be involved with children’s upbringing. Adoptive families will continue to receive support from social welfare professionals.

Become a Foster Family

If you are considering fostering or adopting, consider long-term fostering as a life-altering experience for you and the children you will assist. There are fewer than 2,000 foster homes available to facilitate over 9,000 children in need. Indeed, your long-term fostering home could be the bridge that reunites a family.  Contact Pathway Family Services to make your positive impact today!