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Types of fostering

Did you know that there are lots of different types of fostering arrangements, from very short placements through to offering a child a home until the reach adulthood? We will work with you to work out what is the best type of fostering for you and your family.

We urgently need foster carers for the following children:

  • groups of brothers and sisters
  • teenagers
  • those who need a home until they become an adult

Short term

Short term fostering can be anything from a few days to more than a year. It provides a safe place for a child to live while we work with the child's family to try and sort through any problems. Each child will be facing their own muddle of emotions, many will be confused and upset about the move. As a foster carer you will have an important role in helping the child to understand what is happening to them.

Short term foster carers are needed to look after children of all ages from young children to teenagers.

Long term

Long term foster care is for children and young people who will not be returning to birth family. Sometimes when children are unable to return home to live with their parents, they may need a long term foster home. This allows the child to grow up as part of your family until they are able to live independently.

Many of the children will keep in touch with their birth families, and you will play an important part in supporting them with this.

Long term foster carers are needed for children aged five years and upwards.

Foster Xtra

Foster Xtra is a specialist type of foster care, specifically for children who need extra support and understanding.

They may have experiences from their early life which they are struggling to cope with and this may show in their emotions and behaviour. Fostering Plus offers extra support to children and the families who care for them, including therapeutic support to help them have a more positive future.

What's different about Foster Xtra

Foster Xtra offers specialist support to children who are struggling to cope with their emotions and past experiences. Families are offered tailored support to offer a professional approach to caring for children and helping them to recover from their past. 

Some of the children are in children's homes and we would like to give them the opportunity to live in a family, others have moved many times and we want to give them a stable home.

What qualities do you need

We are looking for people who enjoy working with young people, are not daunted by challenging behaviour and want to make a real difference in a child's life. You will need patience, tolerance, understanding and insight and we will provide you with all the training you need to undertake this rewarding role.

Extra support

You will work with a dedicated team of professionals to help a young person have a more positive future. You will benefit from additional support and training tailored to your needs including:

  • A fostering social worker who will visit you regularly to offer advice and support.
  • Intensive involvement from our specialist therapeutic team.
  • Family support workers available at evenings and weekends.
  • Respite care to offer families a break.
  • Specific training to help you develop your knowledge of the child and how you can care for them.
  • Regular meetings to discuss managing behaviour.
  • A dedicated support group for Foster Xtra.
  • Emergency support outside of office hours, at weekends and bank holidays.
  • The benefit of a professional multi-agency care team approach who can offer individual support with social opportunities, health and education.
  • Extra financial support.

Fostering teenagers

Fostering teenagers can be challenging and requires specific skills and qualities.

Teenage years are often difficult, when young people are learning to stand on their own two feet and testing out their boundaries. It's also a critical time in their development, when the choices they make are likely to have a major impact on their future.

As a foster carer for teenagers, you will need to be sensitive to their situation, patient, tolerant and understanding. It can be very challenging, but there are great rewards in using your abilities to help a young person develop confidence in themselves, resolve their problems and make plans for the future. We recognise the qualities and skills involved in working with teenagers and have developed an excellent support package.

Icon for pdf Fostering teenagers video transcript (PDF, 94.6kb)

Short break care

Short break carers usually offer regular weekend and school holiday care to children who are in longer term foster care or residential schooling.

Sometimes short break care can be a way of helping parents in difficulty by giving them and the child a break away from each other. This can help relieve the pressure and prevent problems from getting out of hand. If you offered this type of care you would work closely with other professionals and the child's family.

Disabled children

Some foster carers choose to specialise in fostering children with physical disabilities or learning difficulties. If you are interested in fostering disabled children we can offer additional training and support. As a foster carer for disabled children you will find yourself working with a range of health care professionals.

Remand carers

Young people who have been remanded by the courts are sometimes placed with specialist foster carers. This is usually for short periods of time, although it can last for several months if a court case is delayed. As a remand foster carer you would be expected to carry out the requirement of the court, which may include a curfew.

Private fostering

Private fostering is where a child is cared for and lives with an adult who is not related to them, this may be a friend or neighbour. You should inform us if you are caring for a child through a private arrangement.

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