Social services Fostering

The different kinds of fostering

Children and young people need different types of foster care depending on their circumstances. You can stick to a particular kind of fostering that suits you. Or you can try different kinds; it’s up to you. 

Short-term fostering

Short-term fostering can range from an overnight stay, to over a year. You'll provide a safe and secure place to live, while we work to reunite the child with their family or to find a permanent adoptive family.

Long-term fostering

Long-term fostering is usually for children aged eight and above who can't return to their birth-family. They would normally live with you until they're 18 or longer if you both want to.

Short-break care

Children with additional needs visit short-break carers for one to four nights each month to give their family a break. The same child visits you, so you get to know them and their family well. And you can fit caring around your permanent job.

Specialist care

You would get specialist training and support in providing care that can help them cope with the impact of their difficulties earlier in life, so that your care helps the child to deal with their emotions and teaches them to have positive experiences and relationships.

Learn more about being a specialist foster carer.

Emergency foster care

Children need a safe place in an emergency. You’ll usually look after a child for a week or two, before they move to another place or back to their family. Find out more about being an emergency foster carer.

Asylum seekers

Many children arrive in the UK alone with no one to look after them. You would help them settle into life in England. It would help if you share their language, religion and culture.

Check if you can foster

If you want to become a foster carer or find out more:

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