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Different types of fostering

There are many types of fostering to consider before choosing which is right for you.

Fostering is different from adoption. When you foster a child, his or her parents and/or the local authority are still legally responsible for the child. If you adopt a child you become legally responsible for that child. .

There is no such thing as a typical foster child or foster carer. You can foster a child for:

  • a day
  • a week
  • a few weeks or months
  • a few years

In some cases foster carers adopt the child in their care.


You'll find out what type of fostering is best for you when you do the 'Skills for fostering' training.


Short-term fostering

You look after a child for a few weeks or months, while their family situation is assessed and plans are made to keep them safe. You will be giving the child stability and care during this time before they move into adoption or back to their family.

Long-term or permanent fostering

A child becomes a permanent part of your family.  Some children can’t go home, but for them adoption isn’t possible. This may be because they have complex care needs or they have strong loyalties to their birth parents and do not wish to be adopted. 

  • You'll be helping a child deal with a difficult time in their lives and will develop yourself and your family
  • You'll receive regular help and training from us.

Permanent foster caring gives children love, stability and support from children to adolescence and beyond.

Emergency fostering

This involves providing care to children and young people who need to be looked after usually at very short notice. This could mean that you'd have to be ready to take in a child in the early hours of the morning or bank holidays.

Supported lodgings

You'd offer a young person, moving on from care. a room in your home. You'd give them general care, guidance and support while they get used to their independence. You'd be helping them to gain independent living skills, such as cooking and budgeting.

Respite care          

As a respite carer you'd help other foster carers by providing day care or longer term care for the children or young people they foster.

Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC) Carers

We have children and young people arriving here in Leicestershire without their families and without a home. As an UASC carer you need to be empathetic, open minded and willing to support young people through the asylum process. This is a full-time role.

Specialist Foster Carers

Some of the children and young people in our care have very complex needs.  They need foster carers with specific skills and experience, such as the ability to engage with birth families, to meet their needs.

One2One Foster Carers

You would be fostering children and young people who would otherwise be living in a residential home.  This is a full time position and requires that there is nobody living in your home under 18 years old.

Parent and Child Foster Carers

You would be fostering a parent and their child for a length of time (usually 12 weeks).

Parallel Foster Carers

You would be fostering a child or young person for a length of time (no longer than 12 weeks). The carer will work closely with the young person’s family in an attempt to reunite them at the end of this time.

You would need to be either:

  • a very experienced foster carer
  • and/or have professional experience and qualifications in relevant fields eg residential care, social work, teaching, nursing, probation, midwifery, policing.

You would work as part of a multi-disciplinary team of professionals to an agreed care plan.

As one of our specialist foster carers you would be paid generous allowances to reflect the demanding nature of the work you carry out.  A dedicated specialist support team offer support, training and guidance to our carers as well as regular supervision and on-going developmental training.

Find out more about fostering in Leicestershire.


Independent Visitor

Maybe fulltime fostering isn't for you. Could you spare a few hours a month to be an Independent Visitor? 

For some children in care, all the adults around them are professionals such as social workers and foster carers. As an independent visitor you would see a young person for a few hours each month. 

You may go bowling or to the cinema or somewhere completely different, but the benefit to the young person is having an adult who is there for them, to listen and support them on a reliable and regular basis. 
You would be a volunteer but agreed expenses are paid. If you think you could help, contact us for more information.


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