Types of Foster Care

There are many different types of fostering to meet the different needs of a child in care. Please read through the types of foster care below and think about which type of fostering suits you.

We will help you to decide what is best for you.  We also consider other members of your family and how fostering will impact on them.

Short term care

A short term fostering placement can range from an emergency overnight stay, weekends, school holidays or a number of months. In most cases the children return to their birth family. They can in some instances, move to a longer term foster placement or they are adopted.

This is a good foster care choice if you have a job that allows you to have time off at weekends and in school holidays.

Long term care

Long term foster care is providing a stable and warm home for a child, supporting them potentially to adulthood and independence. The child will become a member of your family and may continue to have a relationship with their birth family through contact.

Parent and Child Placements

Parent and child placements offer care to both a parent and their young child. This role is one of support and advice. The aim is for the parent to learn the skills to care for their child independently. These placements vary from a few weeks to a few months and the children are mostly babies or young children.

This scheme of foster care maybe suitable for someone who is home based and can give practical and emotional support to young families to help them stay together.

Supported lodgings 16+

A supported lodgings carer provides help and support to young people aged 16+ who are leaving the care of the local authority and need to continue to develop the skills they require to live independently.

The aim is to give young people somewhere safe and secure to live and help them with the skills they need to transition to independent living.

This involves showing them how to manage their money, teaching them how to apply for work or college, how to cook and other important general life skills.

This option is great for foster carers who enjoy being with young adults, have an understanding of the needs of young people and the skills to communicate with them and have life skills to offer.


Foster to Adopt

Fostering to adopt happens when people come forward as adopters, we then look at fostering to adopt, The children placed are usually babies or very young children who are unable to retain a relationship with their birth parent(s).


Respite Care

Respite Carers provide regular and on-going care for children when their regular foster carers require a break from foster caring to manage their own families/lives.  Being a respite carer is a rewarding way for you to support a child in care.

Specialist Respite Care

Looking after a child with a disability requires a tremendous amount of energy. Sometime parents need to time to care for another child, or some time for themselves.  For the child with a disability, this can offer the opportunity for some respite themselves so they can do other activities outside of the home or simply have the benefit of time from an experienced carer. A specialist respite carer will be offering a few hours to an overnight stay on a frequent basis.

This service aims to broaden the social lives and experience of the children and young people and their families.


Fostering an unaccompanied asylum-seeking child (UASC)


UASC is where a non-British child has arrived alone into the UK and claimed asylum.  The Local Authority will have a duty of care for these children.   We are always interested in seeking carers for these children due to the vulnerability and ethnic challenges.   Unless the child can be returned safely to their country of origin they will be allowed to stay in the UK until they are at least 18.

Next Steps

If you want to find out more come along to one of our local events or complete our online initial enquiry form.

Access our Fostering Service booklet (PDF, 12 pages, 2MB)