Find out the different ways you can support a child, including long-term and short-term care.

Types of foster care

Foster carers are needed to provide a stable home for children and young people who come into care at risk or if their needs are not being met. Every child is different and may only need care overnight or until they’re ready to live alone.

If you're looking after a child for someone you know for more than 28 days then this is private fostering. Find out what you need to do if you're private fostering.

If you wish to apply to foster a child, think about your family situation and skills. During the assessment you can look into more foster schemes which may apply to you, these include:

Short term/mainstream fostering

  • Children ages 0 to 18 years - or up to 24 if still in education will live with you full time
  • They look after a child until long term plans are made
  • This could be an overnight stay or last up to two to three years.

Long term/ permanent fostering

  • For children who can't return to their birth families
  • You care for the child until they are 18 or 24 if still in education.

Specialist fostering scheme

  • For foster carers looking to care for children with higher and more challenging needs
  • Children with learning, behavioural, disability and/or mental health challenges.

Respite care/ Short breaks scheme

  • Caring for a child in your home to give parents or foster carers a short break
  • Offering full-time carers and specialist carers support
  • Could be one weekend a month, one evening a week, or school holidays.

Parent-and-child fostering

  • Nurture birth parents and their child/ren
  • Help new parents develop confidence in their parenting skills
  • Help guide parents with hygiene, healthy eating, play and stimulation for their child
  • Helps to keep children with their birth parents.

Supported lodgings providers

  • Assessment complete within two months
  • Accommodating people between 16 and 24 who can’t live with their families
  • Offer them a room in your home
  • Give them advice and guidance whilst they prepare to enter adulthood
  • Help them develop independent living skills like cooking, cleaning, and money management.

If you're interested in fostering a child, contact us by calling 01634 335726 or using the form below and we'll discuss what type of fostering is best for you and your family.

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Contact us

If you're thinking about fostering and would like some more information or just an informal chat, please complete the form below and one of our foster care specialists will be in touch: