The different types of fostering

The different types of fostering

Fostering encompasses many different types of placements and it can be confusing to understand all of these, here is a clear and simple guide to all of the different options when fostering a child or young person.

Short Term

This type of placement is often the option for whilst a child is waiting to be placed in a long term placement or return to their birth or extended family and can last from an overnight stay to several months.

Long Term

When a child is not able to live with their birth family for a number of years or at all, a long term fostering placement is required in order to give the child a safe, secure home to grow and develop in until they reach adulthood.


This type of fostering placement involves supporting a young parent and their child. Many young parents require support to deal with being a parent themselves especially if they have had a traumatic childhood themselves. This type of placement involves specialist parental guidance.


Emergency placements occur with very little notice, day and night when a carer is needed whilst long term plans are made for the child. Due to the emergency nature of such placements, the child can often be distressed or frightened so reassurance and support is needed.


Respite placements provide short term care to provide birth families or full time foster carers a break to recharge their batteries. This type of placement can be anywhere from a few hours, a day or weekend.


This type of fostering is short term and is required when a young person is awaiting to hear their case in court.

Youth Justice & Intensive

Some children or young people are fostered when they are at risk of going to prison or as an alternative to going to prison or secure accommodation. Short term fostering in these circumstances provides the emotional and behavioural support to help them turn their lives around and change their future behaviour.

Unaccompanied Asylum Seekers

When an unaccompanied asylum seeking child enters the UK, local authorities have a duty of care to them and foster carers are required to provide safe and supportive homes to children from non English speaking cultural backgrounds. In the South of England there is an increasing need for carers to provide homes to children from Syria, Afghanistan and Iran.


Fostering can involve supporting children or young people who have experiences early neglect, abuse or trauma and who may have been in many different placements some of which may not have been successful. Through thorough training and professional support, foster carers can help children and young people who have been put into care for such reasons. To find out more about the training and support for foster carers visit our training you receive page.

If you would like to find out more about becoming a foster carer then contact us today.