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Different ways to foster

Let us know what time you can offer, the skills and experience you have and together, we can consider how you could make a difference.

We don’t like to put people into categories or boxes, so we would like to get to know you and the skills and experience you have and believe that this way, together, we will find the best type of fostering, to suit you, at the time. 

Here are some ways to foster but please get in touch as there are many more.

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'll be taking care of the child and providing stability and care during this time before they move back to their family, or longer term fostering or adoption.

Respite carers

Maybe you cannot offer full-time care but you could still make a difference.  It’s important that we support and care for our foster carers and sometimes they need a rest or a helping hand.  This is where our respite carers make such a difference to our foster carers, either on a regular basis or throughout school holidays for example. 

Short break foster carers

If you have experience and skill in looking after young people with medical or additional needs, then you could make a real difference to a young person and their family as a short break foster carer.  Let us know what you could offer in terms of time and skills and we’ll see if we can make it work.

Longer-term and 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 as well as receiving regular help and training from us.

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

Supported lodgings 

If you're interested in supporting young people, aged 16 plus, into independence and empowering them to make decisions about their future, then this role could be great for you.

You would need a spare bedroom, a general understanding of some of the needs of young people and the issues they may be facing, as well as patience and a commitment to provide a supportive and safe environment.

Get in touch with the team to find out more.

Specialist carers

If you have qualifications, skills and experience in working with young people from 12 upwards, then one of these roles could be for you.  Perhaps you have experience in youth work and young people’s residential care for example; we’d love to hear from you.  See our 'specialist foster care' page for more information.


Independent visitor

We’re looking for independent visitors who can spare a few hours a month to make a big difference to a young person in care.

An independent visitor is someone a young person can establish a relationship with outside of their foster or residential home, who can be a consistent figure in their lives.

You may go bowling, 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, support and encourage them during their time in care and often beyond this time.

For some children in care, all the adults around them are professionals such as social workers and foster carers.

As an independent visitor, you cannot be:

  • an elected member or partner / spouse of the local authority (or any committees or sub-committees) responsible for the child in care
  • employed by, or a spouse of, someone employed by Childrens Social Care
  • an employee, patron or trustee of an associated organisation (such as an independent fostering agency)

You would be a volunteer but agreed expenses are paid.

For more information, contact the Fostering Recruitment team on 0116 305 0505 or by using the simple enquiry form


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