In some cases, a child will be left with no family to care for him or the child’s immediate removal from his current home is necessitated by extreme circumstances. Emergency foster families are specialists at taking children with almost no notice. Often the children will be traumatized by the incident which has left them without parents and in need of intensive help.
Emergency foster care was created to provide for the immediate needs of the child. Emergency foster parents provide shelter, food, clothing, and other immediate necessities until the child can return to their birth family or be transferred to a longer-term foster family. In some situations emergency foster care can turn into long-term foster care if it meets the needs of all parties involved.
Emergency foster homes are also used as a temporary safe place for a child whose home situation has deteriorated or become unsafe. For example, a parent may have failed to fulfill a certain court-mandated tasks, or perhaps the child cannot be in the home until an abusive relative has left. When this is the case, the child will stay for a few days to a few weeks. Once the courts determine the safety of the home, the child can then rejoin their family.
Foster homes that have been accepted and authorized as emergency foster homes are expected to have bedrooms ready, food available, and the appropriate clothing for age of child they are prepared to accept. The willingness of these families to help children in emergent situations do a great service to any community.