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Types of fostering

We will discuss with you the type of fostering that will best suit you and your family. Many of our carers choose one type of fostering over another.
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Emergency fostering

If you do emergency fostering, you will:

  • take a child into your home at any time of the night or day
  • have the child stay for up to seven days.

This type of fostering is unplanned and usually short notice, for example if a single parent is taken into hospital and there is no one to care for their child. We would decide if longer-term care plans need to be arranged.

Respite fostering

If you do respite fostering, you provide short breaks at the weekend or during school holidays, usually for children with special educational needs or disabilities. You would work with the same child or children, giving their families a much-needed rest.


As a short-term foster carer, you would take children into your home on either a planned or an emergency basis. This can range from an overnight stay to several months.

After that, the child will:

  • return to their family
  • move to a permanent foster placement
  • be adopted.

Long-term or permanent fostering

Some children and young people need a long-term foster carer.

You would offer planned placements for children and young people for a number of years until they reach 18 or beyond.

Long-term placements mean children know they have a safe and supported family environment to grow up in, while staying in contact with their birth family.

Caring for teenagers and larger family groups

We particularly need:

  • two-adult foster carer households to care for teenagers.

  • people with large houses to care for sibling groups of 2–6 children, if necessary with small ones sharing bedrooms

  • people who can care for teenage parents and their children.

Parent and baby fostering

The placements are for a new parent, most often the mother, and their baby. The parent may:

  • be young
  • not have an easy family life or support around them at home.

Specialist fostering

Sometimes we need skilled foster carers to offer support to children in special circumstances including:

  • children with complex emotional and behavioural problems
  • asylum seeking children and young people.

Supported lodgings scheme

Although this isn't a type of fostering, this scheme provides supported community-based accommodation for young people leaving care. It allows young people to learn how to live independently.

Apply to become a foster carer

If you want to find out more about fostering, contact us and we will get in touch with you.