Types of fostering
Every child and their circumstances are different, which is why there are different types of foster care to meet their individual need.
Short-term fostering SHOW
As a short-term foster carer you will be flexible with caring for children for short periods of time. This can be anything from an overnight stay to a period of a few weeks or several months, up to two years.
Long-term fostering SHOW
As a long-term foster carer you will look after a child who doesn’t have a short-term plan to return to their birth family and needs a caring home until they are 18 years old.
Respite fostering SHOW
Providing respite care means you will look after children for short periods of time, such as weekends or school holidays. Usually the same child, or sibling group come to stay with you and it’s a positive experience the children really look forward to.
Step-across fostering SHOW
As a step-across foster carer you will have experience of working with or supporting children, young people or adults with mental health, emotional and/ or behavioural needs. You will look after children who are currently being cared for in a children’s home, enabling them to feel safe and loved in a home environment.
Find out more about Step-Across Fostering.
Parent and child fostering SHOW
Parent and child fostering placements see both child and their birth parent (or parents) living with you in your home. This enables them to stay together rather than a child being taken into care alone or the family being placed in a residential unit.
Private fostering SHOW
You are a private carer if you look after someone else’s (not a close relative’s) child or teenager on a full-time basis for more than 28 days. Stepparents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, uncles, and aunts are all classed as close relatives.
The child should be under 16 years old (18 if they have a disability).
Private fostering does not mean arranging a placement through a private company.
Find out more about Private Fostering.