Types of foster care

There are different types of foster care, from short-term to long-term, family link schemes and remand care.

Here are the varieties of foster care:

Short-term fostering

Short-term fostering is about looking after children and young people for a few days, weeks, months or sometimes even years. It could be an emergency placement for a child or young person in an emergency situation, or out of office hours usually for up to 72 hours.

Long-term fostering

Long-term fostering is about looking after a child or young person until they are at least 18 years old, where adoption is not possible or desirable for a particular child.

Family link scheme

The family link scheme offers short breaks to children with disabilities of all ages. This could be for a weekend, a day or a fortnight – or even a few hours on a regular basis. It could also involve shared care.

Youth care

Youth care provides specialist care to young people over the age of 10 years who may have challenging behaviour.

Remand care

Remand care provides a supportive placement for young people who are in serious trouble with the police, and provides an alternative to being remanded in custody.

Family and friends carers

Family and friends carers are family or friends who offer a home to children and young people who are already known to them. Our family and friends policy and further information can be found below.

We aim to help improve the lives of vulnerable children by offering a range of foster carers when children are unable to remain living at home.

It is our priority to recruit local people to care for children and young people in your community who can provide high quality care to these vulnerable young people.

Register your interest

Register your interest (link opens in new window) in becoming a foster carer online.

For more information read our guides below:

Contact us

If you would like further information contact the Fostering Team on 0300 300 8181 or email


Back to the top