Types of Fostering We Offer

There are plenty of different types of foster care, but what's the difference between them?

Every child is unique and will require different types of care depending on their experiences. All fostering differs slightly, and there are many distinct types of fostering that foster parents can choose to specialise in.

Making the choice about which type of fostering is best suited to you and your family will be something that takes a lot of thought. It’s good to consider what type of experience with children you have and where your skills lie. When people think about looking after children, fostering and adoption can get confused. There are actually quite a few differences between the two.

Types of fostering

Short term fostering

Short term fostering (or temporary foster care) is one of the most widely sought-after types of foster care in the UK. It is similar to emergency fostering in that it provides a temporary place for a child to live whilst a more permanent arrangement is arranged for them.
Learn more about short term fostering

Emergency fostering

Many children and young people are brought into foster care because of emergencies. This is often due to situations of risk where the need for urgent action is required to make a child safe.
Learn more about emergency foster care

Respite fostering

Respite involves children living with their own family or foster carers but having short stays with another foster family to give their birth family or main carers a break.
Learn more about respite foster care

Long term fostering

Many children and young people across the UK live with their foster parents for a long period of time, this is what we refer to as long term foster care.
Learn more about long term fostering

Therapeutic fostering

Therapeutic fostering is a placement where a child or young person has undergone significant neglect or trauma and would benefit greatly from therapeutic care.
Learn more about therapeutic fostering

Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC)

There is a real shortage of fostering families who can offer unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC) a safe refuge. Often, these children have arrived from countries that have been war-torn, or in conflict zones and these children have often been affected by traumatic experiences.
Learn more about UASC fostering

Parent and child fostering (P&C)

A parent and child fostering placement (P&C) is provided to a mother and/or father and their child(ren) where foster carers can provide support and guidance to the parent(s) and help them develop their childcare skills.
Learn more about parent and child fostering

Step down fostering

All young people should have a secure family home. So that’s why we developed a step down programme. Step down is a type of foster care where a child previously living in a residential home setting has come to live with a foster family.
Learn more about step down fostering

Disability and Special Needs fostering

At Compass we offer specialist training and support for our foster carers who offer their home and time to look after a child with special needs or a disability. We provide care for children with disabilities including physical disabilities, learning difficulties and complex health needs.
Learn more about disability fostering

If you’d like more information about the different types of fostering, or if you have any questions about becoming a foster carer, please get in touch us. Our team of friendly experts will be happy to answer you.


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