Types of Fostering Placements

What types of foster care are available?

Fostering plays a crucial role in offering a secure and nurturing environment to children and young people who cannot reside with their birth or adoptive families. To provide for each individual circumstance, and the needs of each child and their family, there are different types of foster care. During the journey of becoming a foster parent, Family Fostering Partners will assist you in determining the most suitable types of fostering for you and your family.

In England, there are six primary categories, or types of fostering placements: Emergency Foster Care, Short-term Fostering, Long-term Fostering, Respite Foster Care, Teenage Foster Care, and Parent and Child Foster Placement. Below, we have provided a concise description of each type of foster care…

Types of Fostering

Long-term Foster Placement

Long-term foster care is a type of foster care used when children need a permanent home, potentially lasting several years, often until they reach age 18. This type of fostering offers children and young people the stability and security required for them to thrive. Foster parents willing to provide long-term fostering should be ready to offer a nurturing and stable home, and often, help maintain the child’s contact with their birth family. Long Term Fostering is a very popular type of foster care. 

Short-term Foster Placement

When people describe their understanding of the types of fostering available, they describe what we know as Short-term foster placements. This type of foster care provides a stable temporary home for children facing challenging circumstances, often lasting a few weeks to several months. The goal is to offer a secure, nurturing space, with the hope of the child returning to their birth family safely. Foster parents in this role should be ready to provide dedicated care and maintain contact with the child’s birth family.

Emergency Foster Placement

Emergency foster care is designed for children in immediate need of a safe haven, and offers a temporary, stable environment during crises. This type of foster care typically lasts for a few days until a longer term solution is found. By its nature, this type of fostering can be emotionally challenging. Foster parents in this role should be adaptable and ready to meet the evolving needs of children in urgent situations.

Respite Foster Placement

A respite placement is intended to give birth families, foster families, or other carers a break from their caring responsibilities. This type of foster care provides children with a change of environment and can help to improve their mental health and well-being whilst allowing care givers the chance to rest and recharge! Respite fostering can be for a few days, up to a couple of weeks. This type of foster care is often on a planned and semi-regular basis. 

Parent and Child Fostering

Parent and child fostering is a specialist placement where a parent (often a mother) joins the home of a foster parent with the aim of the foster parent being able to help develop that parent’s skills and knowledge to care for their child. This type of foster care requires observing, detailing, and recording interactions between parent and child to help make a long-term decision regarding what the best decision is for the child’s future care.

Fostering Teenagers

Fostering teenagers is our final example of the types of foster care available. Teens often face trust issues, anxieties, and frequent transitions, requiring extra patience, understanding, and stability from foster parents. Providing a nurturing home and facilitating social connections can make a significant impact to these young people. For those considering this type of fostering, it’s a chance to positively influence their crucial years.

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