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Children and young people need fostering for lots of different reasons. That’s why we offer a range of different placement types – so we can match each child with the foster family that has the skills and characteristics to meet their needs.

Even if you have a preference for the type of foster placement you take on, please try and be as flexible as you can. Being happy to accept more than one type of foster care placement helps us find safe, supportive homes for children and young people more quickly.

Emergency foster care placements

Sometimes, we need to find a safe place for a child to stay immediately. Emergency placements usually last for a few nights, to a few weeks.

Short-term foster care placements

If there are problems at home, a child or young person may need to stay with a foster family for a few months until the issues are resolved or alternative plans are made for their future.

Long-term foster care placements

It isn’t always possible for foster children to be reunited with their birth families. In these cases, they’ll need to stay with you until they’re grownup and able to live independently. (Usually around 18 years old.)

Respite care

Usually, this involves looking after children who still live with their birth family, but whose parents or carers need some time off.

Sibling placements

We try to keep brothers and sisters together when finding foster families. This type of placement involves groups of two or more children and are usually long term.

Children seeking asylum

A child seeking asylum has left their home country and been separated from their parents or family. They have often been through an extremely difficult time, travelled a very long way and may not speak English.

Ability carers for children and young people with disabilities

Ability carers are assessed and approved to look after children and young people with a physical or learning disability and need extra help.


Tailored placements for children with intensive support needs

These longer-term foster placements are for children transitioning from residential care.

Transition placements

This type of placement is focused on helping a foster child return home. You’ll be working closely with the child and their family to help the transition go smoothly.

Parent-and-child foster care placements

Sometimes, a parent or young pregnant mother might need extra help looking after their child. With this type of placement, both the parent and their child or children will live with you.

Remand foster care placements

The court will sometimes remand that a child or young person should be in care rather than in a young offenders’ unit, for example. These placements are usually short-term and you will need to work closely with the Youth Justice Service.

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