The different types of fostering

foster carer choosing what type of fostering is right for them

One of the first things prospective foster carers discover is that there are many types of Fostering.  One size certainly does not fit all and in turn there is a need for different types of carers. Fair Ways offer a wide range of fostering types, which meet the needs and requirements of the individual young people coming into our care.   

Below we have outlined some of the key characteristics of our types of fostering; 

Long term 

We define Long Term as placements of greater than 2 years, although it can be a lot longer.    

A child may not be able  to live with their birth family for several years, or at all. Long-term fostering provides a safe, consistent, stable, loving and nurturing home for a child to grow and develop.  long term Fostering needs foster families who are fully committed to a young person on a permanent basis.  allowing them to build healthy long-term relationships. 

Short term  

Young people sometimes need to be offered a foster home for a fixed period of time, this can be for a few days or could be up to a few years. It is likely that the child will either return to their birth family or an extended family member. Offering a young person, a home on a short-term basis can also provide a secure and safe place until a longer-term fostering home or adoptive home is arranged. Foster carers offering short-term fostering are adaptable and flexible and frequently contribute to the assessment of the young person’s longer-term needs. 


Emergency fostering is sometimes required with very little notice, either day or night. Carers need to be prepared to offer a child a safe home for a short time period until longer-term plans are made. Often, the child will be frightened, distressed, and require lots of reassurance. Emergency   foster carers are vital. They  offer a calm, warm and welcoming home and are  able to adapt quickly to changing situations.  


Respite fostering offers young people a home for a short break from their long-term foster home or birth family for anything from a few days to up to a week or two weeks. Typically  this will be at weekends or school holidays. Usually this is planned to ensure that the young person knows where they are going to stay and to build a healthy relationship with both long-term foster family and respite family. Respite foster carers are especially engaging   flexible and accepting.  

Specialist Fostering

Specialist Fostering is the most advanced career opportunity offered by Fair Ways and is only available to experienced Foster Carers. It also receives the highest allowances.  

This is an innovative and unique model that, through an individually tailored and structured approach, offers fostering to young people with more complex needs. Specialist carers use  PACE approach to identify attachment issues and seeks to provide healing relationships going forward.  

Young people benefit from specially trained and highly experienced foster carers who are extensively supported by Fair Ways network of professionals. Carers chosen for this career path will benefit from the highest levels of pay, training, additional and respite support  

Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.  (UASC)  

In recent years we have experienced a huge increase in demand for Foster carers to help these children. UAS children who arrive in the UK without their parents or carers will usually go into the care of the nearest Local Authority. If no suitable family member or guardian can be found, they will go and live with foster carers.  

We are proud of our growing multi-cultural community and have many UASC’s within our care. We want to create a diverse organisation that welcomes and celebrates people of all different cultures, faiths and abilities.  


There are many children in foster care who have a wide range of conditions that can impact their day-to-day lives. Caring for a child with a disability can be both challenging and rewarding. . As a foster Carer for a disabled child you may be caring for a young person with a range of medical conditions, Fair Ways will support you to gain the relevant training, and skills to feel confident to do this. 

Parent and child fostering  

 This type of fostering provides care for both the parent and baby or young child ensuring that they are both safe and that the parent is given the opportunity to learn the skills required to care for their child enabling them in the longer-term to remain together.  Foster carers will support and assess the parent’s abilities and offer routine and structure and have lots of parenting experience and knowledge. Carers will be offered additional training to be able to offer parent and child fostering and higher allowances.  

If you are interested in becoming a foster carer there will be at least one type of fostering that suits you and your needs. One of the jobs of our recruitment team is to access your current skills and living situation and listen to your desired outcomes to determine what type of fostering we think you would be best suited to. If you would like to know more about fostering please email us at or give us a call on 023 8023 0400 

Enquire to become a foster carer

Join and receive world-class training and support, from an organisation that cares.

Enquire today