What type of fostering is right for you? 

We want to make sure that when you consider fostering, you are given all the information that you need to enable you to decide what is best for you and your lifestyle. The type of fostering you are most suited to will depend on factors such as your skills, your experience, and your availability.

Every child and young person is unique and individual with their own needs from a Foster Carer. There are seven distinct types of fostering which differ due to the nature and length of the care provided. You may be able to offer more than one type of care arrangement – we will talk to you about the options when we come and visit you.

  • Emergency care: Foster families provide care to children and young people in emergency situations on a short-term basis.
  • Time Limited: Usually, this will be when children become newly looked after and their family situation is being assessed.
  • Long Term: This is when decisions are made for a child to become a permanent member of a foster family.
  • Respite: Planned, often short periods of care, based on a child’s or another Foster Carer’s needs.
  • Link Care: You could provide emergency care, overnight care, or care on a time limited basis for a child with a disability or health need. Link Carers see the child first and build on what they can do, not what they can’t.
  • PACE: The Local Authority has a duty to provide accommodation to children and young people under the age of 18 who have been charged with an offence so that young people do not need to remain in police custody longer than needed.
  • Supported Lodgings: Providing a young person with a room in a friendly home environment with the support and guidance of the adults living there.

Volunteering to visit children and young people in care

Would you like to meet with a child or young person once a month to go out for social visits, share hobbies and interests and try new activities. You will befriend, mentor and provide continuity in the life of a child in care and above all, have fun together! For more information please visit our Independent Visitor page.

Over the 2 years that my husband and I have been fostering we’ve cared for teenagers who have been through a wide range of experiences and have come from very different backgrounds. We have often found that they have very low self-esteem and a negative view of their futures. It can be difficult, but we work hard to gain their trust and show them that they can have a positive future to look forward to.

We already have some great memories from our time as foster carers, particularly when we have been able to give young people in our care the opportunity to experience things many families take for granted, like taking a 15 year-old to the zoo for the first time. We also often keep in touch with the young people once they leave us and it is wonderful to hear good news stories from them on their progress, such as getting jobs or moving on from problems with drugs or alcohol.

Foster carers need plenty of energy and stamina and you need to really enjoy the company of teenagers. It helps to have a sense of humour and to be open minded and up for a challenge.

Kevin and Klaus tell you more about life as a Foster Carer and how it has built their family.

Jenny talks about how those little things make a big difference to young people and help them to grow.