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The Types of Foster Care

Learn more about the different types of foster care we offer.

Short break foster care

Short Break fostering is when foster carers provide care for a child or young person over a short period of time, usually somewhere in between a weekend to a fortnight. This short break foster care gives families and other foster carers a network of support when they most need it.

Long term foster care

Long term foster care is for children and young people who will not be returning to birth family but not secured by a permanence order. Long term care requires a commitment from the foster carer to provide care for as long as is needed. This may be up to the age of 21 years. In terms of approval, it is Foster care which has been in place for longer than 24 months not secured by a Permanence Order.

Permanent foster care

Foster care secured by a Permanence Order.

For a child this means that the care planning process has concluded that they will thrive best if they are cared for away from home on a permanent basis. A Permanence Order, which is applied for by the local authority through the courts, can provide the local authority, child and their carer with the legal security, the stability and the time for strong relationship bonds and a sense of belonging to develop.


Approved foster carers, in addition to offering one (or sometimes a combination) of the above kinds of fostering, may also wish to be approved to offer some outreach fostering.  
This means working with a child or young person on a one-to-one basis.  They may be living at home, or living with another foster carer or in a residential setting.