Types of fostering

Local authorities have to find foster parents for children and young people in various situations, some of which lead to a temporary need and some to a long-term or permanent need. From a foster parent's point of view, this variety of care needs and timescales may give useful flexibility. Some types of placement can be more challenging than others, so may be better for experienced foster parents.

Short-term needs for emergency placements may occur, for example, when a single parent is taken ill; or a placement need may be linked to an application for asylum in the UK. Some placements may involve more than one child, as brothers or sisters are not separated if this can be avoided.

Occasionally, parent and baby placements are needed in the interests of a vulnerable young parent and their child. Also, placements may sometimes be needed for children with disabilities, in which case issues such as wheelchair access may need looking at and help will usually be given with any changes needed.

The examples above are given to show the variety in type and timescale of foster care placements. Please note that placements of all types will not always be needed in all localities. Click on this link to our Carers Needed page for information on local authorities' current carer needs via Foster Care Partnerships.