Types of fostering

There are five types of fostering schemes.

Short term foster care

This is when carers look after children temporarily, while plans are made for the child's future. This can involve looking after children overnight, or longer term for up to two years. 

Long term foster care and permanence

Not all children who need to permanently live away from their birth family will be adopted, so instead they may be cared for by foster carer on a permanent basis, until they are adults. To help children feel stable and settled we encourage long term carers to think about legal orders to claim the child as part of their family.

Respite care

Children who need one-off or regular time away from their foster carers (or sometimes their birth family) stay with respite carers for short periods such as a weekend.

Short breaks for disabled children

Children with disabilities or complex health needs may stay with a family for a short time, to give their parents or usual foster carers a break.

Kinship or family and friends care

This is an arrangement where a child lives with somebody they already know, usually an extended family member such as grandparent, aunt or uncle, or brother or sister.