Types of fostering

There are several different types of fostering and the one that’s right for you will depend on your experience and personal circumstances. We’d be happy to talk these through with you. 

Short term and long term 

  • This is the most frequent type of care needed. It involves providing care for a wide range of children including babies, primary school aged children and teenagers
  • As this type of carer, you could accommodate a whole range of needs including siblings, parent and child placements and asylum seekers. There are plenty of training and development opportunities to allow you to offer these different types of foster care.
  • Placements can vary from a few weeks to several years. During this time plans are made for children to return to their family or for permanent care such as adoption.
  • As an approved foster carer, you can also be on our emergency care rota if you want to. This involves caring for a child or siblings for a short period of time in an emergency same day situation. This could be during the night or at weekends and could happen at short notice so this type of care is good for carers who can be flexible.


  • These are planned short breaks for children who may be living at home or with other foster carers. These can help keep families together by giving them a break.
  • We also have a specialist scheme for children with disabilities called Home and Away.

Fostering to adopt 

  • This care is for babies and toddlers who are likely to be adopted but there might still be the opportunity to be reunited with their birth family depending on the outcome of parenting assessments
  • Foster to adopt placements provide stability and security for a baby or toddler at the critical early stage of development, with the possibility that the infant may become their legally adopted child 
  • If you are an approved adopter and would like to consider a foster to adopt placement please contact Adopt Thames Valley

Supported Lodgings 

  • Providing young people aged 16 to 21 with a form of independent living within a safe, secure family environment 
  • This acts as a stepping stone for young people who have been in foster care and need support to help prepare them for living on their own 
  • You can read more on the supported lodgings webpage 

Private fostering 

  • Private fostering is an arrangement made by parents, or someone with parental responsibility, for their child to be cared for away from home by another adult. This adult will not be closely related to the child and the arrangement will be for longer than 28 days.
  • Please see the Private Fostering webpage for further details 

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