Skip to main content

Types of Fostering

The most common types are as follows:

Short-term placements: are usually for short periods of time, anything from one day and can be up to two years. These placements offer a holding position for the child and also give local authorities time to decide what is best, for the child.

Intermediate placements: are short-term placements that extend beyond the original period due to unforeseen circumstances or particular issues relating to the child’s circumstances.

Long term/permanence: is usually for children who cannot return or be returned to live with their own families thus requiring a permanent home.

Emergency: Some foster carers work on a duty rota to provide emergency cover for 24 hours a day, for unplanned placements during the evenings, weekends and holidays. This could last from one day to up to two years.

Bridging Placements: A bridging placement will form part of a longer-term plan for a child or a young person and can sometimes be of two years duration. In such placements foster carers will work with children/young people and their families towards reunification, or prepare children/young people for joining adoptive or long term/permanent fostering families or for moving to a semi-independent or an independent living arrangement.

Assessment Placements: These usually last up to three months and during this period a detailed assessment is made of the physical, emotional, educational and therapeutic needs of a child or a young person, including his or her ability to be cared for within a foster family and the specific support services that will be required. Interim and final assessment meetings provide vital information for longer term planning. Written assessment reports are included in this service.

Parent and child: foster carers provide guidance and support to teenage parents before and after birth of their baby.

Respite: respite care involves befriending a child/young person/family group on a part time basis from a few hours a week to a whole weekend while their family take a holiday or break.

Remand Placements: Fostercarers look after young people who are remanded into care by court. The placements are usually short term and require the carers to work closely with the Youth Justice/Offending teams.

Placements for Asylum Seeking Children and Young People: These children are young people who are under the age of 18 and are separated from parent, family and are applying for asylum. They have often travelled long distances from countries such as Afghanistan, Iran or Iraq and may not speak English and can be frightened and confused. Often these children or young people are referred to as Unaccompanied Minors. Fostercarers will provide these children or young people a safe, stable and supportive home. These placements could be short term to long term.

Placements for disabled children: Short to long term placements for children or young people. This service also provides a welcoming break for both the child and their family.

Short term breaks: Providing an opportunity for regular short breaks for disabled children or young people with disabilities or learning needs. This service also provides a welcoming break for both the child and their family.

Single/Solo Placements: This may involve looking after children and young people who may have considerable demands, occasionally these children will have very specific and complex needs which, initially at least, require a higher level of support and supervision.

Because of his/her needs, a child or young person may require constant individual attention and supervision that precludes the placement of any other fostered children/young people or prohibits the use of any remaining placement vacancies within the foster home.

Enhanced Placements: These placements are intended for children and young people with care histories that include previous foster placements disruptions, previously unsuccessful residential care placements or the imminent prospect of residential care, the risk of being placed in secure accommodation or discharge from secure accommodation.

Treatment Foster Care: Intensive one to one support with skilled foster carer(s) with time-tented therapeutic and social work support in a multi-disciplinary setting. The focus is on behaviour modification and reinforcing of new learning and positive change.