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Types of fostering

The type of fostering that's right for you will depend on your experience and personal circumstances.

There are several different types of fostering, ranging from short term through to respite care - offering excellent packages of support, extensive training and competitive allowances and fees.

  • These are planned short breaks for children who may be living at home or with other Foster Carer
  • The children who require respite care are often from 5 years old and some may have special needs
  • We also have a specialist scheme for children with disabilities, called Family based overnight short breaks
  • These short breaks can keep families together by helping them cope
  • This scheme enables disabled children and young people, including children with complex health care needs, to have a regular short break away from home with Family Link foster carers
  • This is a carefully planned arrangement which is designed to give families a break from the pressures of day-to-day care, and provide new opportunities for the disabled child
  • Find out more information on the Family based overnight short break page
  • This is the most frequent type of care required. It involves providing care for a wide range of children including babies, primary age children and teenagers
  • Placements can vary from a few weeks to several years. During this time plans are made for children to return to their family or for permanent care which could be adoption
  • This could be during the night or at weekends and involve taking a child or brothers and sisters for a short period of time in an emergency situation
  • Situations can often arise at short notice
  • At least one foster carer needs to be available at home full time
  • A specialist skills is payable to provide these placements
  • Stability and security is of paramount importance and long term Foster Carers can provide this
  • It is usually suitable for older children who have contact with members of their family and differs from adoption, in that parental responsibility remains with the child's parents and/or the local authority
  • ‘Concurrency care’ is for babies and toddlers in care who are likely to need adoption, but still have a chance of being reunited with their birth family
  • Concurrency carers have the satisfaction of providing stability and security for a baby or toddler at the critical early stage of development – with the possibility that the infant may become their legally adopted child
  • There has been an increase in requests for carers who can provide care to babies alongside one or both parents
  • These arrangements are usually short-term and could include parenting assessments for court proceedings
  • The placements are intensive and foster carers will need good communication skills and the confidence to assess parenting potential
  • Enhanced fees are payable to carers with skills to provide these placements
  • Private fostering is when families make private arrangements with others to care for their children
  • The local authority needs to be notified and are required to undertake checks on these arrangements

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Last updated: 19 January 2018 | Last reviewed: 19 January 2018