What are the different types of Foster Care?

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What are the different types of foster care?

Foster carers look after vulnerable children and young people who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to live with their own birth families. Some children may also have physical or learning disabilities (or both) and need specialist care, others may have suffered abuse or have been temporarily removed from a family in crisis.

If you are considering becoming a foster carer you will need to think about what age groups and types of children (for example children with disabilities or teenagers). You dont have to be approved for one specific type of caring role as you may have the skills and experience to offer different types of care.


Emergency foster carers take children at short notice, at any time of the day or night. Children usually only stay for a few days while longer term plans are being considered.

Short term

This is usually taken to mean that it is planned for the child to remain in the placement for only a specified period, or until certain tasks have been completed. The child may have been placed in an emergency to begin with. This type of care can be anything from a few days to a few months.

Long term

Long term foster care is when a child or young person, for whatever reason, cannot return home and adoption is not an option.

Short Break Care

Short Break care is provide to children and young people with additional physical and learning needs to enable the birth families to have respite. This may be at the week-end or during the week. It can be overnight or just for the day or evening.

Support Care

Support Care is to prevent children and young people coming into care on a permanent basis. As a support carer you will work with the birth families in order to support them. It allows time out for both children and parents. Together we can make a difference

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