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Types of Fostering

There are different types of foster care, from an overnight stay, a short-break or something more long-term, but they all provide a home and a safe space where children can grow.

Packing bags and stairs shots

We offer many different options for foster care, so you can find one that best fits your experience, preference, and circumstances.

We can help you decide on the type of fostering that is best for you and your household.


Short-term foster care

As a short-term foster carer, you can offer placements for a few days, weeks or a few years dependant on the Local Authority you are fostering with.

We look for short-term foster care when parents are unable to care for their child on a temporary basis. Children may come into short term foster care while parental assessments are carried out or longer-term care plans are made.

In some instances, short-term care can lead to long term or permanent arrangements to give children a sense of stability and support.


Long-term foster care

Long-term fostering is where a foster carer agrees to care for a child or children for long periods, often into adulthood. Children benefit from greater stability from a young age right through to the age of 18 and beyond, where possible.

Some children may need to be looked after permanently (until adulthood) without being legally adopted. This may be because they are unable to live with their birth family for practical reasons but wish to remain in close contact with their parents. In this case, we would look for permanent foster care. For some, it will be their first experience of a stable and caring family life.


Parent and child fostering

Parent and child foster carers provide a family environment of support and nurture for a parent and their child. Parent and child foster carers help parents to develop confidence in their parenting skills in a safe environment.

The primary focus of the foster carer is to help the parent and child to stay together as a family. Foster carers do this by helping with parenting tasks as well as supporting the parent in developing the necessary skills to care for their child on their own in the future.

Parent and child foster carers are paid a weekly fee and allowance dependent on the legal status of the child and the parent. You'll need to complete additional training to be a parent and child foster carer.


Respite fostering

Respite care is sometimes known as short break care. This type of fostering allows foster families and birth families who are in need of extra support a 'break' for a short period of time. This could be from a few hours each week to a couple of weekends each month depending on the needs of the family.

Respite fostering gives families the chance to stay together and a much-needed opportunity to rest. This type of care often involves families with a child who has a disability or additional needs.

Usually, children and young people from families who need respite foster care are linked to a foster carer - a familiar face who can provide regular periods of respite whilst enabling the child or young person to build a trusted relationship with the carer.



Specialist foster carers look after children and young people with very complicated needs and challenging behaviour. These children might have experienced a lot of trauma and not be used to normal routines or going to school regularly. Specialist foster carers will have significant previous experience working with children or young people to bring about positive changes in their lives. These carers cannot be doing any other work while fostering and are paid a higher rate.  

Contact us

Got questions about fostering?

If you are interested in fostering and would like to find out more information, please get in touch with us today for a friendly chat by calling 020 8753 1075 or emailing us on

You can also sign up for one of our information sessions and meet some of our foster carers and social workers. View our events

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