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What Separates Foster Care from Adoption?

There are several similarities between adoption and foster care. In fact, having experience in one may help with getting approved for the other as you can demonstrate your skills caring for vulnerable children. Nevertheless, foster care and adoption are two different ideas with certain core similarities. Knowing precisely what separates the two ideas is important though, especially if you are considering your options. Let’s get to know the differences.

Time Commitment

The primary difference that separates foster care from adoption is that of time commitment. Adoption is a permanent commitment, whereas fostering is not. Adoption is the legal act of permanently welcoming a child into your home in the same way as your own son/daughter. Foster families can choose to provide a safe, healthy, and thriving home environment to children for a period that can be as short as just a few nights, or as long as several years.

It mostly depends on the kind of foster care that you wish to provide to the children under your wing. In the UK, there are eight different types of foster care options that willing and qualified foster families can choose to provide:

  1. Emergency – The foster family opens their home for a few days to children in urgent need of a safe shelter.
  2. Short Term – The children stay with the foster family for a few weeks/months and up to 2 years.
  3. Long Term – The child will stay with his/her foster parents for more than 2 years and often until the time he/she reaches adulthood.
  4. Kinship/Family and Friends – A recognized relative, or family friend assumes the child’s fostering responsibilities.
  5. Pre-Adoption Fostering – Serves as an assessment period for families looking to adopt a child.
  6. Respite – The foster family will take care of children for a short time to provide their long-term caregivers (biological/adopted/fostering) a respite from their duties.
  7. Specialist Therapeutic – The foster carer who has specialist therapeutic training takes in children with complex needs and/or behavioural disorders.
  8. Remand – Specially trained foster carers take in preteens and teens during the remanding process before they face their court charges.

Financial Responsibility

Perhaps the biggest difference between foster care and adoption is financial. When you adopt a child, you become legally and financially responsible for the child in the same way as you would be for your biological offspring. In sharp contrast, foster care families are paid by the local authority or specialist fostering agencies to take care of the child.

In fact, some foster care agencies even pay additional allowances for birthdays and other celebrations. If you are interested to know more about how to become a foster carer and what it entails, visit

Approval Process & Waiting Time

To permanently adopt a child, the family needs to go through the adoption process and there may also be a much longer waiting time involved with adoption, while the agency match them with a child. To become an officially registered foster carer, you will need to go through a full fostering assessment, which takes around 4-6 months, but the waiting time to be matched with a child is likely going to be shorter. Fostering agencies are always on the lookout for families who would be willing to provide a temporary home to the thousands of children who are in immediate need.

Children in foster care may return to their birth family if it’s safe for them to do so. If this isn’t possible, they may be adopted or move to a long-term foster home until they turn 18, or stay with the original family if approved for long-term fostering. If a child is up for adoption, it indicates they have no direct family left, or who are willing and fit to ever take care of them.

Foster Care: How to Help Children in Depression?

Most adults who suffer from depression find the cause is deep-rooted in childhood experiences. Children are less likely to show the symptoms of clinical depression or experience the more severe effects of clinical depression because of their age.

They are still too young, and their depression has not had the time it needs to grow into something much more serious. Unfortunately, depression, anxiety, and other behavioural disorders will often begin to manifest in their more severe forms in late teens and young adults. In foster children, it’s a far more common phenomenon.

Are Foster Children More Likely to be Depressed?

The short answer is yes, foster children are more likely to develop clinical depression later in their lives. Most of them go back and forth between their biological parents, guardians, and foster families because their original guardians will repeatedly create/be in situations that are deemed unfit for a child to live in. On the other hand, children who have lost their parents/guardians permanently need to be raised in foster families if they do not have a legal and willing guardian to take them in. Since children never end up living in foster homes for happy reasons, they are naturally more susceptible to depressive disorders than the average youth.

What Can Foster Parents Do to Help?

If you find any cause to be alarmed about your foster kid’s mental health, you should contact your foster care agency. They will arrange for therapy and counselling sessions for the children. In severe cases, the child may be sent to a foster parent with adequate specialist skills that are required to help depressed children at home.

You should also consider getting the training necessary to manage children’s grief as a foster parent. Not only will it enable you to help more children under your care more comprehensively and successfully, but it will also put you on a higher tier of fostering allowance. To know more about the general/specialist fostering allowances and fees in Scotland, visit

Recognizing the Signs of Depression in Your Foster Kids

The signs of serious depression are not always easily recognizable in young kids. However, if you know what to look for, then detection and recognition become much easier. Just go through the following signs and symptoms of depression in younger generations to see if any of these apply to the foster children under your care.

  • Sense of persistent sadness about their personality and behaviour.
  • Irritability and unsociability (may also indicate anxiety)
  • Tiredness, inactivity, oversleeping/insomnia.
  • Chats that reveal they are underconfident, have low self-esteem and/or suicidal thoughts.
  • Signs of self-harm (cutting, burning, addictions).

Recognizing the symptoms of depression is extremely important, although you don’t have to be an expert to notice them if you are paying attention. As a foster parent, it is your duty and responsibility to recognize the signs of depression in children under your care. Even if you don’t yet have the experience or skills necessary to help them yourself, identifying them will allow you to seek help on the child’s behalf.

Making a Difference – Shadow Dance Troupe Catapult Teams with the YMCA

Wondering what “America’s Got Talent” season 8 competitors Catapult is up to? The shadow dance group has teamed with the YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) for a series of videos (shown below) showcasing the many ways the Y supports youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. As one of the largest non-profits in the country, the Y helps people of all ages, incomes, background and abilities learn, grow and thrive through a breadth of programs and services—many of them free of charge.

Supporting Our Neighbors:


Healthy Living:


Nurturing Potential of Today’s Youth:

Here are some of the Y programs featured in the Catapult collaboration:

  • Afterschool Programs: The Y has the largest afterschool program in the nation that focuses on safety, health, social skills and education for children, so they can learn new things and achieve academic success.
  • Chronic Illness Prevention: Healthy living is about more than just exercise, it is about overall well-being. Chronic illness prevention programs like the Y’s Diabetes Prevention Program can be an invaluable resource in maintaining good health outside of a medical setting.
  •  Healthier Communities Initiatives: This Y program helps communities make changes to support healthier living opportunities for residents, from safe walking routes to bringing fresh fruit and vegetables to communities lacking healthy food options.
  • Hunger Prevention: Dedicated to helping children grow healthy and strong, the Y’s hunger prevention program delivers millions of meals to children across the country each year.
  • Family Time: The Y’s programs for families provide opportunities to deepen relationships, find new skills and interests, improve their health and well-being and connect to the community. Staying connected with the Y can help families become stronger, healthier and happier, as a family unit and as individuals.
  • Swim, Sports and Play: Being active through the Y has benefits beyond physical health, especially for children. Learning to swim boosts confidence, participating in team sports teaches the character and social skills that make good leaders, and play helps children develop healthy habits and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The Y is more than a place, it is a cause dedicated to strengthening communities and providing opportunities for people from all walks of life to reach their full potential. Check out the Catapult videos and learn more about how the Y is making a difference at