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Types of fostering

Types of fostering

We provide a wide range of fostering arrangements to meet the different needs of children and young people who are unable to live with their birth families. They may need care for a short while or for a longer period of time. The different fostering arrangements you could help us provide include:


This type of fostering is for a specific short period of time, usually from a weekend to two weeks. Foster carers look after children and young people while their short-term or long-term carers are unavailable, or to give them a break. Respite foster carers need to be willing to look after children of different ages with a wide range of needs, and are paid for the time they care for a child or children.

As of May 2012, we are only recruiting respite foster carers who can cover school holidays (12 weeks per year) and two out of every four weekends.

Short Term

Short-term fostering is anything up to two years. Children in short-term fostering placements need support until they return to their families or move to longer-term planned placements, including adoption. Children who need this type of support are across the age range, from babies and infants up to teens.

All our short-term carers provide placements in an emergency or at short notice.

Long Term

Some children are unable to live with their birth families on a permanent basis. Long-term fostering provides placements for children and young people, often for a number of years. Many children are still in contact with their birth families, so a key responsibility for long-term foster carers is supporting this contact for their fostered child or children. Long-term fostering allows a child to grow up in a safe, secure environment, often until they reach their teens and leave care.

For friendly advice and support call us on  0113 247 7443.

Planned short breaks

Planned short breaks provide help and support to children living at home with their families, with foster carers offering planned overnight or weekend stays. Children typically spend one to three overnight stays with a foster carer every few weeks. The breaks are carefully planned, with children being matched to available and suitable foster carers. Most short break agreements last between six and 12 months.

As of May 2012 we have temporarily stopped recruiting short breaks carers.

Other specialist fostering

Our family placement service operates fostering schemes for children with disabilities, including short breaks, sitting schemes and permanent placements.

If you are interested in this kind of fostering please contact us on 0113 247 8934