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Types of placement

Every foster child is different. That’s why we offer various kinds of fostering placements.

The types of fostering you offer will depend on your personal preferences and circumstances, but many of our carers are approved to offer more than one type of placement.

Short-term fostering

This involves caring for a child or young person on a temporary basis for a few days, weeks, months or even years while arrangements are made for their future. A child may require short-term care as a result of a parent becoming ill or because of emergency care proceedings. Short-term fostering can involve higher levels of contact with the child’s birth family than other forms of fostering.

Long-term fostering

This involves looking after a child or young person on a permanent basis until they reach adulthood and are ready to live independently. This type of placement is often used when a child or young person is deemed too old for adoption or does not want to be adopted.

Disability fostering

Disability fostering involves looking after a child with a disability, which could be physical, mental or a child or young person with health needs.  We offer a full disability service supported by specialist disability social workers.  Find out more about disability fostering.

Respite fostering

Respite involves a child or young person going to stay with another foster carer while their regular carer takes a short break, normally for the weekend or a little longer. This type of fostering can be provided by our full-time foster carers when they have a vacancy or a short gap between placements.

Parent and child fostering

This specialist type of care involves a young parent and child, normally a mother and baby, living with a foster family when they need extra support and care. Our parent and child carers offer parental advice and guidance, and often contribute towards parenting assessments.

For more information, please see our parent and child leaflet.

Remand fostering

Many young offenders are better placed in foster care than in an institution and family support can reduce their risk of re-offending. Remand fostering is a specialised type of placement suited to carers who have worked with offenders in the past. As a result, our remand foster carers receive an enhanced package of support.

For more information, please see our leaflet on remand fostering.

Transitions fostering

These specialist placements enable young people to make the transition from living in institutional settings, such as children’s homes, to a family environment. These placements are ideally suited to experienced foster carers or those with residential care experience.

For more information, please see our leaflet on transitions fostering.

Sanctuary seeking fostering

This involves caring for a young person who has been separated from his or her family and is applying for asylum in the UK. These young people have often travelled long distances, may not speak English and can be frightened or confused. It helps if the foster carer shares the same language, culture and religion as the child in their care, but experience of working with people from other cultures can be just as important.

For more information, please see our sanctuary seeking leaflet.

To talk about these placement types in more detail, call us on 0800 077 8159 and our team will be happy to help.

Emergency Foster Care

For a variety of reasons, children can need foster care in an emergency, where there is no time for introductions prior to placement.  These placements are usually needed with only a few hours’ notice and are often short term in nature.  Due to the efforts we make to achieve the very best possible match between children and families, these placements can develop into longer term placements.  Most foster carers experience emergency foster care at some point in their fostering lives, to ensure a child’s safety.

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