Team Fostering | Types of Fostering

Types of Fostering

Foster carers look after a range of children and young people with different life experiences and from different backgrounds.  We recommend that all potential foster carers consider looking after a diverse range of children, in order for us to find suitable families for all of those who are in need a loving and safe home, and we encourage people from all walks of life and backgrounds to consider becoming foster carers. 

Below you'll find a summary of the types of fostering at Team Fostering. 

Short Term Fostering

This is when local authorities identify that a child needs to be cared for outside of the home short term. There is no time limit to a short term placement and the child will be looked after as long as is required. If the situation changes and the child needs to be cared for long term, the foster carer looking after them will be considered and identified as a potential long term carer, and if the match is appropriate they will be matched together.

Long Term Fostering

This type of fostering provides substitute care when a child or young person is unable to return to their family and are too old to be adopted. Long term fostering will sometimes be a planned setup but could also result when a short term fostering family are identified as an appropriate long term match. The carer will, in this instance, care for the child or young person permanently until they move onto independence. As a long term foster carer, you are entitled to the same benefits, pay, support and training and shorter term foster carers.

Short Break Care

We recruit foster carers who are able to offer short break care for children and young people, which enables their main foster carer to take short breaks. When arranging short break care, we try to match the children with the same short break carers each time so that they get to know the family and look forward to their time away. 



We also approve carers who can deal with Specialist Fostering. We provide Specialist Training to ensure that foster carers are fully enabled to deal with each child or young person's needs.


Parent and Child Fostering

This is where a young (often teenage) parent and child live with a foster carer until the Local Authority feel that they are able to manage on their own or with alternative support. The foster carer in this instance would look after the parent, protect the parent's child and work with the Local Authority's plan for both. This is an alternative to placing young parents in residential units and without this support, relationships can often break down and lead to separation of the parent from the child.


Fostering Refugees

Fostering an asylum seeking refugee child or young person requires experience and skills gained from work or parenting. A foster carer in this situation may experience some of the following:

  • A child or young person may not have any documentation and, if unaccompanied, it can be difficult to assess their age or even know their name
  • These children and young people are often placed with foster carers in emergency situation where very little is known about their background, family and circumstances.
  • They don’t have schooling and so additional work is required of Team Fostering’s Education Support staff, the relevant Local Authority and the foster carer to ensure that education is arranged
  • The duration of a placement is often unknown from the outset due to the uncertainty around their circumstances
  • The child or young person may not speak or understand English, so there can be a language barrier between themselves and their carers
  • They have often escaped extreme circumstances which can involve war or terrorism and will suffer trauma as a result of these situations
  • The child or young person may have been the victim of abuse or neglect
  • Matching foster carers with children and young people is of paramount importance to us as we want children to experience stability when they come into our care

It is expected that the numbers of asylum-seeking refugee children and young people who are entering the care system will continue to increase rapidly.

We currently work with carers who have first-hand experience of fostering refugees, having been providing this kind of care for a number of years. This includes some from a minority ethnic backgrounds as well as White British, all of which have had very successful outcomes.

What has been important in these situations is the level of support and training foster carers receive from Team Fostering to help provide the best possible care for these children and young people, and this will continue moving forward.