4. Types of foster care


When children need somewhere safe to stay for a few nights.


Carers look after children for a few weeks or months while plans are made for the child’s future.

Short breaks

When children who are disabled, have special needs or have behavioural difficulties regularly stay for a while with a family. This means their parents or usual foster carers can have a break.


When young people are remanded by a court to be looked after by a specially-trained foster carer.

Fostering for Adoption

When babies or small children stay with foster carers who may go on to adopt them.


Not all children who need to permanently live away from their birth family want to be adopted, so instead they go into long-term foster care until they’re adults.

‘Family and friends’ or ‘kinship’

A child being cared for by the local council goes to live with someone they already know, usually a family member.

Contact your council for information about becoming a ‘family and friends’ or ‘kinship’ carer.

Specialist therapeutic

For children and young people with very complex needs and/or challenging behaviour.