Types of fostering

You could make a big difference to a child's life in Leeds by listening to their needs and providing a loving home.

Our fostering options

Once you have registered to become a foster carer and completed the application process, we will work with you to see which type of fostering suits you best.

We currently have a shortage of foster carers for:

If you are already a foster carer and would like to transfer to work with Leeds City Council, please call us on 0113 378 3538.

If you have a Leeds young person in placement, we will match your current provider payments if they are higher than our fees and allowances.

Our fostering options

Short term and long term


Some children have to be moved in an emergency, often in unsociable hours. Emergency foster carers are there for children for a brief period of time until short term carers are available or until the child is able to return to their birth family.                                

You’ll need to be able to provide a safe space in an emergency with little notice and be willing to look after children of different ages and needs.                                

Mainstream short breaks

Mainstream short breaks care is providing part time care to children who are already in foster care.  

Short breaks are often needed to support the child/young person’s main placement and can include fostering children of different ages and various needs.  

Parent and child

This involves helping a parent, usually young themselves, to be a good parent and care for their child. A foster carers input helps decide whether the parent should be allowed to continue caring for their child or by somebody else.  

Supported lodgings

Providing emotional and practical support to young people aged 16 and over who have been in care or homeless to help them learn to live independently.  

You would be able to work full time and are paid an allowance for every young person.  

Caring for children with complex needs and disabilities (full-time)

This involves looking after children who have complex needs such as autism, learning disabilities, physical impairments and health needs on a full-time basis.   

We would really like to hear from people who could accommodate a child in a wheelchair. You would need to be willing to have adaptations made to your home if necessary.  

Read about our 100 Helping Hands campaign.  

Caring for children with complex needs and disabilities (short breaks)

Short breaks carers for children with disabilities and complex needs provide part time care to children who remain living at home. The aim of this scheme is to support families and provide breaks to the children and their families on a regular basis (around every 4-6 weeks).  

Support carers

Support carers provide planned short breaks to children living at home with their families. You'll provide the children with one to three night breaks every few weeks, so they can enjoy a safe and nurturing environment. Most support care agreements last between six and twelve months.  

Friends and family fostering

Kinship care

If you're looking after the child of a relative or friend on a full time basis, either temporarily or permanently this is called Kinship Care.                                  

To make sure you're getting the right support, please let us know about your circumstances.You can contact our kinship care team on 0113 378 3537, Monday to Thursday, 9am to 5pm, Friday 9am to 4:30pm.                                  

Private fostering

Private fostering is when a child under 16 (or under 18 if disabled) is living for 28 days or more with someone who is not a close relative.

This might be a friend, a great aunt, a cousin or someone else known to the child. A private fostering arrangement may be put in place for a child if the parents work long hours, or the child is sent to the UK for education by birth parents outside of the UK.

To keep vulnerable children safe and support families, by law parents and carers must notify their local authority if they have a private fostering arrangement.                 

Please contact us on 0113 222 4403 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).                 

Special guardianship

Special guardianship means carers make most decisions to do with the child's upbringing, including where the child lives, goes to school and what medical treatment they can receive.                                  

Birth parents don't lose their parental responsibility, but they can't exercise it except in certain circumstances. Carers may apply for a Special Guardianship Order after caring for the child for 12 months or sooner with permission from the court.                                  

For more information please contact the Kinship Care Team on 0113 378 3537, Monday to Thursday, 9am to 5pm, Friday 9am to 4:30pm.