There are different types of foster care that are adapted to meet the wide ranging needs of children in care. Fostering can sometimes be a short-term plan where the child will return to their birth families (parents or other family members). In other cases where the child cannot return to their family, fostering can also be a long-term solution for their care needs, particularly for older children.
There are however other forms of fostering that fall into the categories below:
Emergency – when a child needs somewhere safe to stay for a few nights
Short-term – carers look after children for a few weeks or months while plans are made for the child’s future. Many children will return to their birth families (parents or other family members)
Long-term – where children, usually older, cannot return to their birth families and live with long-term foster carers until they reach adulthood.
Short breaks or respite – When children who are disabled, have special needs or have behavioural difficulties regularly stay for a while with a family. This means their parents or usual foster carers can have a break.
Specialist fostering – which includes Remand and treatment fostering
Remand – when young people are remanded by court to be looked after by a specially trained foster carer
Treatment – experienced carers look after children with complex needs and behavioural problems who are also receiving intensive support from other professionals
Kinship – where children are cared for by other relatives e.g. grandparents
Private fostering – where a child is cared for by someone who is not their birth parent or a close relative
Fostering for adoption – where babies or small children stay with foster carers who may go on to adopt them