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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. Placements include short term or long term, bridging placements, and parent and child fostering.

Meeting the needs of vulnerable children

National Fostering Group offers several types of fostering placement. 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.

Emergency fostering

Emergency fostering placements come at short notice, when a child needs to be rehomed immediately due to it being unsafe for them to stay where they are.

Short-term foster care

Sometimes, short-term foster care is required in the interim before children can be moved to a longer-term placement. 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.

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 placements are typically 12 weeks long but may last longer.

Bridging placements

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.

Long-term foster care

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.

Respite care

Respite care provides short-term placements for children with the same carer. Ideal for families, couples or singletons who work, respite care usually takes place on weekends or during school holidays in order to support an existing foster carer or family member.


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’re 14 close-knit independent fostering agencies
  • Over 3,500 carers already part of our family
  • Benefit from our local support groups and social workers
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