Skip to main content

Foster for Bucks

3. Types of foster care

There are many different types of foster care, designed to meet the differing needs of children in care. This also means that as a foster carer you can choose to provide the sort of care, time and commitment that suits you.

Emergency Placement

There will be occasions when a child or young person needs somewhere to stay at a moment’s notice. This can be for a number of reasons and may only last for a few nights, or for much longer.

Short term fostering

Short term fostering is the most common type of placement and can range from an overnight stay to a few years. Short term fostering is normally required until a child is able to return home, is placed in long term foster care or is adopted. Alternatively older children may leave care to live independently.

Long term fostering 

Some children are placed in long-term foster care if they cannot return to live with their birth families and adoption is not considered the best option.

This is often the case with older children who continue to have regular contact with their birth families. These children are looked after by foster carers until they are adults.

Children under 5 are not usually placed in long-term foster care unless they are part of a sibling group, or if they have disabilities or special needs.

Respite (temporary)

Providing respite care allows the child to stay with you whilst their family or carers can have breaks. This can range from occasional or regular breaks, overnight, day respite, or for school holidays, usually up to a week. Respite is usually provided for children placed with our foster carers for a range of reasons for example, emergency arrangements due to illness.

Offering respite care is ideal for people who wish to foster but who need to continue with other commitments such as a full-time job. This type of care is always planned so you’ll be able to agree exactly when a child will be staying with you and for how long.

Print entire guide

Last updated: 1 August 2017

Help us to improve Buckinghamshire County Council

Don't include personal or financial information like your National Insurance number or credit card details.