Different Types of Foster Care

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When I say I’m a foster carer, people think I must be mad, I think they expect foster carers to all be middle aged couples. Being single and working full time is not a barrier to doing this. It can be busy, but you can fit it in with your availability. Gavin, Foster Carer

The different types of foster care are:

  1. Respite care
  2. Short Break carers
  3. General foster carers (with an approved age range)
  4. Specialist fostering
  5. Kinship care or connected persons


When choosing which type of fostering is best for you, you need to consider...

  1. Will someone be available at home in the daytime?
  2. Can you do the school run, flexible hours?
  3. Are there any smokers in the household?
  4. Are there any other children in the household?

When the child is with you part time...


Respite Carers

Respite carers offer support to full time foster carers to give them a break and provide an extended family for the child. They can also offer a safe place for a child to stay in an emergency or for a short period to help a family.

Short Break Carers

Short break carers provide regular weekend overnight visits and a week’s holiday for a disabled child (aged 5-19) for many years. The children live at home with their family.


When the child is with you full time...


General Foster Carers

General Foster Carers look after children (aged 0-18+) with the aim of returning the children to their birth families. If the child can not return home, foster carers can help children move on to a new adoptive family or support them into adulthood.

  1. Fostering babies
  2. Fostering 10+ and teens
Specialist Fostering

As you develop your skills, you may be considered for specialist areas of fostering fostering, looking after children and young people with challenging behaviour. You will need will-power and determination. One carer must have full availability. Specialist carers receive the foster care allowance (per week per child) plus an enhanced payment. We are no longer recruiting to historic schemes.

  1. Parents and Child Together. This is both a challenging and rewarding fostering role. You will have one, possibly two parents and their child in your home. Placements are relatively short lasting between 12 to 16 weeks and your role will be to guide, support and assess the parents' ability to care for their child.
  2. Repatriation and Prevention. There are children as young as 10 years old living in residential care homes, due to their complex and behavioral needs. We want to give them a chance to live with a family. (This is repatriation, also referred to as “step-down”). We also want to prevent children from moving into a residential setting or far away from their community. (This is prevention). As part of a team, you will work alongside therapists, social workers and a supporting (respite) foster carer to provide an intensive intervention to make a difference to the path that the child’s life may be on. 
  3. Mockingbird Hub Home Carer. Mockingbird hub home carers are experienced foster carers who act as the glue that unites the satellite carers as an extended family. Hub home carers provide a listening ear, and someone to turn to who understands the challenges of fostering to reduce isolation so that carers do not feel like they are on their own.
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