Different Types of Fostering

There is no such thing as a typical fostering situation. If you decide to become a Foster carer, you will have plenty of opportunity to explore which type of fostering would be right for you and your family.

Read on to discover the different types of fostering.


Short Term Fostering

This can mean anything from a few days to a period of several months or years. Short-term foster carers provide a temporary place to stay until the child can return home to their own family or a longer-term plan can be made.

Long Term Fostering

Sometimes children will not be able to go back to live with their own families for whatever reason. Long-term fostering allows children and young people to stay in a fostering family where they can feel secure, whilst maintaining contact with their birth family. Children and young people can stay with their foster carers until they reach independence.

Parent and Child Fostering

These are specialist placements for a parent and their child. As a time-limited placement, usually around 12 weeks in duration, both parent and child enjoy a safe family environment whilst developing their parenting skills with your support and experience as foster carers.

Specialist Fostering

Some children and young people’s experiences have been so difficult they need additional help and support.

For example, a young person may need to be supervised closely, display complex behaviours, or find it hard to form positive relationships with others. Our focus is on supporting the young people who have made significant progress while in residential care and would now benefit from a foster home environment.

Whilst caring for children and young people as specialist foster carers can be highly rewarding; it is also very demanding. For this reason, you will have access to an enhanced package of support and receive a specialist fee in recognition of the skills and commitment required to be a specialist foster carer.

Short Break Fostering

Short break foster care (or respite care) covers several different types of part-time care, which allows our full-time caregivers a ‘break’ for short periods of time.

This type of fostering is required in a number of different circumstances. For example, a ‘full time’ foster carer may have urgent family commitments or a particular situation which mean they are unable to care for the child or children as they normally would. Alternatively, children and young people with disabilities or special educational needs may need a break from their caregiver or their caregiver may need a break from their caring responsibilities to recharge their batteries.

Short breaks foster carers provide care for a child or children for a maximum of a week or two at a time, for example during school holidays, or at weekends, depending on the child and/or the family’s needs.

Emergency Fostering

Emergency foster carers provide short term care for children and young people where there is a need for them to be in a safe and secure environment at very short notice: for example, if it’s felt that they are at immediate risk of harm.

We need foster carers who are willing and ready to care for our children and young people at the drop of a hat, emergency foster carers are usually required outside of normal office hours and work on a rota basis.

PACE Fostering

A PACE bed is used as a one-night only resource when requested by the police for a young person who would otherwise be held in police custody overnight until they appear in court the next day.

New to fostering?

Already a foster carer?

The rewards of foster caring extend far beyond the positive influence on a child, as fostering can bring personal growth, fulfilment, and a sense of purpose to your own life.

Together, we can create a brighter future for vulnerable children and build a more compassionate society.