Types of fostering
Fostering happens when a child goes to live with a foster carer because they cannot live with their own family at a particular point in time. Whatever the reasons for this, it’s a difficult time for them, so they need a stable home and plenty of support, care and understanding.
It could be for just a few days, a few months, or even longer. That’s why there are different types of fostering to match the different needs of children with the different things that carers can offer.
Short term (task centered) fostering
Short term fostering is where you are working towards a goal within a set time period. You could be preparing a child to return to their own family, to an adoptive family or long term foster carers or helping older children to get ready for living independently. Find out more about short term fostering.
Long term fostering
Long term fostering involves caring for children who cannot return to their families and for whom adoption isn’t appropriate. Find out more about long term fostering.
Supported lodgings is an alternative to foster care and is a great opportunity if you want to continue to work but want to support a local vulnerable young person. Supported lodgings involves you being assessed as a host for a young person aged between 16-18 years. You need to be able to offer them a stable home environment, support them to develop practical skills and gain emotional stability which is all needed to make the transition to independent living. Find out more about supported lodgings.
We need more foster carers for teenagers, they can sometimes be the most challenging to look after but they can also be the most rewarding. If you really want to make a difference to a local child, foster a teenager.
Disability short break fostering
Disability short break (Previously Family Link) fostering supports children who have a disability and their family. You look after a child for a short break, maybe overnight or for a weekend or in the school holidays. Find out more about short breaks fostering.
Resilience foster care
Resilience foster carers provide long term, family based placements for young people aged 10-18 years who currently live in residential care. As a resilience foster carer you would foster one young person and support that person to adult life. Find out more about resillience foster care.
TurnAround Fostering is a same day placement service where you provide short term emergency care for a child or young person when they first come into care for up to 72 working hours. Find out more about TurnAround Fostering.
Short stay fostering
Short stay fostering involves providing regular short stays for a child or children who you are matched with. You need to be able to commit to providing regular short stays for up to 2 years for children who are in foster care, who still live with their birth family or who have been adopted. You would look after a child or children for the weekend or in the schools holidays.
Friends and family carers
When parents have difficulties at home, their child/ren may need to be looked after by someone else. For example: a relative, friend or other person who is connected to the child/ren. These arrangements can be made directly between parents and their relatives or friends or a social worker may be involved. This is sometimes called a kinship care arrangement.
Private fostering is when a child or young person under 16 years old (or 18 if they have a disability) is looked after for 28 days or more by someone who is not a close relative, guardian or person with parental responsibility. Close relatives include parents, step-parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents. You must inform the local authority if you are involved in a private fostering arrangement.