Full-time fostering

There are two types of full-time fostering options: long-term and short-term.

Many carers offer a mix of short-term and long-term fostering, depending on their personal choice and availability and on the needs of the child in care.


Long-term fostering

Long-term foster carers provide a permanent home for a child who is unable to live with their birth family. This can be for a whole variety of reasons.

A long-term foster carer will look after the child or young person until adulthood. They become part of the family and do everything with the foster family as their own child would.

Foster carers look after other people’s children and young people in need, caring for them on a daily basis. This includes closely working with social workers and parents and other professionals who are involved in the children’s lives.

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Short-term fostering

A short-term foster carer can look after a child or young person for a very short time, such as overnight or a weekend, through to weeks, months or even a couple of years while plans are made for their future.

Children come into short-term foster care for a variety of reasons, none of which are their fault. Short-term carers may not have a significant amount of time to prepare for the child’s arrival and therefore requires a degree of flexibility.

Short-term arrangements can last from a couple of nights to a couple of years, as they are dependent on a long-term plan being agreed by the Courts.

Once a plan has been decided, a short-term foster carer will then prepare the child for their future home, which may be with their birth parents, kinship carer or a long-term foster carer.

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Talk to us

You don’t need to know right now what type of fostering would suit you. We can help you decide what would suit your personal circumstances.

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