Types of fostering

We provide different types of fostering to meet the needs of individual children, including:

  • short term fostering
  • long term fostering
  • short break (respite) care
  • parent and child placements
  • emergency overnight care
  • remand placements
  • fostering to potentially adopt a child
  • specialist fostering
  • supported lodgings.

Short term fostering

When a child needs support for a relatively short period of time, which could be either days or months, they will be placed with a short term foster carer. This is usually an interim arrangement until they can return to their birth family or a suitable long term placement is made.

Long term fostering

Sometimes it can be months or years before a child can return to his or her birth family and in some cases they may never be able to do so. We therefore need foster carers who can provide safety and stability to children on a long term basis.

Short break (respite) care

We provide children with planned short term breaks away from their birth families or carers. Short term breaks are an opportunity for children to gain new experiences and develop new bonds outside of their everyday environment.

Parent and child placements

Parent and child placements give parents with young children the opportunity to develop their parenting skills, by living with a specially trained foster carer. These placements can help to keep families together.

Emergency care

There are times when a child may need to be placed in care due to unforeseen circumstances. Providing emergency care at short notice means children can be placed in a safe environment sooner rather than later.

Remand placements

Remand fostering can be a beneficial alternative to custody for children who are awaiting court proceedings.

Fostering for adoption (concurrent care)

Some children in care are placed with concurrent carers who have the potential to become their adoptive parents if a decision is made that they cannot return to their birth parents. This provides greater stability for the child.

Children who have been trafficked or sexual exploited

Specialist foster carers take care of children who have previously experienced trafficking or sexual exploitation.

This type of foster care may be of particular interest to people who are experienced foster carers interested in developing new skills or are in the health, social, education or youth professions. Specialist carers receive additional support, training and finance and are fully supported by childcare professionals.

Supported lodgings

Supported Lodgings placements are a stepping stone to independence for young people at risk of homelessness, and those leaving the care system.

Providers offer emotional support and the chance to learn vital practical skills in a safe place. Providers don’t have the same legal responsibilities as a parent or foster parent. The young person will have their own dedicated Barnardo’s project worker. Find out more about what it takes to become a Supported Lodgings provider.

By choosing to become a foster carer you can make a huge difference in a child's life - and yours.