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Wednesday, 3 October 2023

Types of fostering

There are different types of foster care depending on the needs of both the child and their family. These include short-term care for just a few days or weeks, to long-term placements, as well as care for disabled children or children with behavioural problems.

Categories of foster care


When children need somewhere safe to stay for a few nights


When carers look after children for a few weeks or months, while plans are made for the child's future

Short breaks

When disabled children, children with special needs or children with behavioural difficulties regularly stay for a short time with a family, so that their parents or usual foster carers can have a break


When young people are remanded by a court to the care of a specially trained foster carer


Not all children who need to permanently live away from their birth family want to be adopted, so instead they go into long-term foster care until they are adults

'Family and friends' or 'kinship'

A child who is the responsibility of the local authority goes to live with someone they already know, which usually means family members such as grandparents, aunts and uncles or their brother or sister

Specialist therapeutic

For children and young people with very complex needs and/or challenging behaviour

Additional links

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Foster Care Fortnight 2012

Find out if you have the skills and qualities to become a foster carer

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