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Types of foster care

Our carers provide many different types of foster care to meet the needs of children across the UK. These include short term or long term, bridging, and parent and child fostering.

Meeting the needs of vulnerable children

National Fostering Group offers several types of foster care. These have been designed around the needs of the child. We will also help you make the choice of which one is right for you and your family, including your birth children.

Whatever types of foster care you settle on, you’ll have our full support in everything you do. Staring at your basic training, we offer many opportunities to improve your knowledge and skills so you can be your best in your role. Some of our free training courses are useful for particular types of fostering.

You will also be assigned a Supervising Social Worker and you’ll build strong contacts at your local National Fostering Group agency. You’ll also have access to 24/7 advice and strong peer support. If you are a carer in Kent, you could also benefit from the additional support network at Heath Farm, one of our agencies which operates a therapeutic fostering structure known as Mockingbird.

Types of foster care

Emergency foster carers

Emergency fostering come at short notice, when a baby, child or young person needs to be rehomed immediately if it’s not possible or unsafe for them to stay where they are. They are very varied by nature and require flexibility and patience.

Emergency foster care

Short-term fostering

Sometimes, short-term (or temporary) foster care is required in the interim before children can be moved to a longer-term family or be returned to their family home, where possible. Foster carers like you can help by giving children all the care and attention they need as they settle into their temporary home and prepare for their next move.

Short-term fostering

Parent & child fostering

Parents sometimes need a little bit of extra help caring for their children. We need foster carers to be on hand to help develop the parents’ skills whilst they learn from you. These type of foster care are typically 12 weeks long but may last longer.

Parent & child fostering

Bridging fostering

Bridging is a type of short-term foster care which takes place when babies or very young children need a temporary home before moving on to somewhere more permanent. You may be asked to provide foster care on a short-term basis as we prepare to move children back with their birth family or find long-term care or forever homes through adoption.

Bridging fostering

Long-term fostering

Sometimes the best solution is for the child to remain with a foster family for several years or up until they are ready to take care of themselves, which is where long-term foster care comes in. More often than not, the child will become a firm member of your family for the rest of your life.

Long-term fostering

Respite foster care

Respite care provides short-term care for children with the same carer, allowing emergency support for long-term foster carers. We arrange planned respite where possible, so the child can build a trusted relationship with the respite carer.

Respite foster care

Fostering a baby

As you might expect, this is a demanding role with a lot of responsibility. It’s a highly specialised role for an experienced foster carer who might have additional skills and training. We recommend you consider being available to foster young children of other ages too.

Fostering a baby

Remand fostering

Young people in the criminal justice system might be in need of a foster care while waiting for their court date. As a remand foster carer, your support and encouragement can make a real difference in helping young people into a better future.

Remand fostering

Fostering siblings

We do everything possible to keep siblings together when they are placed into foster care. This type of foster care is in demand. Can you provide a home for two or more brothers or sisters in a stable environment together?

Fostering siblings


You might already have an idea of what kind of fostering appeals to you. Get in touch – we can talk over the process of becoming a foster carer in more detail.

Start your fostering journey with National Fostering Group

  • We have fostering agencies all across the UK
  • Over 3,500 carers already part of our family
  • Benefit from our local support groups and social workers
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