Types of foster care

Short Term

Short-term foster care provides placements for perhaps a few days, a few weeks or a few months. This type of fostering focuses on either returning the child to their home or placing them with a permanent alternative family. The children placed in this type of care are from across the age range, from babies to teenagers.

This type of fostering involves the foster carers working closely with the children’s social workers and parents to enable the child to either return to their family or be placed with a permanent alternative. Some of our short- term foster carers often provide placements in an emergency situation or with only short notice given.

Fostering - siblings

Long term

In some cases children and young people are unable to return home. In such situations Social Workers have to consider what is in the child’s best interests in the long-term. For some children we would seek to place them with adoptive parents. For others, adoption may not be appropriate, as they may have ongoing contact with their family. In such circumstances we seek to place them with permanent foster carers, who continue to provide care into adulthood.

A key responsibility for long-term carers is supporting the contact fostered children and young people wish to maintain with their birth families.


When some families are under stress brief, regular periods of foster care for the child or children enable the family to remain together in the long term.

This type of foster care is arranged to take place on a planned, regular basis, often at weekends or during school holidays. It is an important way for us to support children and their families and to assist other carers who may need a break from their fostering commitments.

Fostering Kids baking

Connected (Family / Friend) care

You will be considered a ‘connected foster carer’ if you have been requested by Child & Adult Services to care for a child who is either related to you or is connected to you through friendship. The child in your care will be subject to Looked After Children (LAC) procedures.

Short Break Care

This type of fostering enables families who have children with physical or learning disabilities to benefit from short breaks, where the child enjoys time in a new environment and the parents have some time to themselves.

This type of foster care is arranged to take place on a planned, regular basis, often at weekends or during school holidays. The child or young person benefits by getting to know new people and this can make a real difference to them. Children are ‘matched’ to one ‘Short Break Carer’ and introductions are gradual to allow the family, child or children and carer to build a relationship and feel comfortable with the situation.