A collaborative service for: Cheshire East Council Cheshire West and Chester Halton Borough Council Warrington Borough Council
A collaborative service for: Cheshire East Council Cheshire West and Chester Halton Borough Council Warrington Borough Council

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Types of Fostering

There are many different types of fostering, and each Local Authority has slightly different schemes.

Request an information pack to find out more about the types of fostering you could undertake in your Local Authority.

As a foster carer, you can decide the type of fostering you’d like to do, or be open-minded. Where they have the space to do so, many of our carers do a combination of a few types. You can also let us know your preferences in terms of the age range of children you’d like to care for, for example teenagers or babies and pre-school aged children.


This is caring for children at short notice, often following a phone call at weekends or during the evening. This is usually for up to around 6 days, whilst longer-term plans are made.


Respite care is providing care on a one-off or regular basis, supporting another foster carer or a child’s family member to sustain the longer term care for a child. For example, a respite carer may help another carer by caring for the child they have in placement for one weekend a month, to help give everyone a break. Respite carers may also support other carers or family members in times of crisis or ill health.

Short Term

Caring for a child short term is essentially caring for them whilst future plans are made. This is often whilst court proceedings take place, and can be anything from a few days to around 18 months. The majority of our carers start as short-term foster carers.

Long Term

Caring for a child long-term is committing to care for them until they reach independence at 18+. For some children, long term care helps to give them the stability of being part of a consistent family unit, but also allows them to maintain the bonds they have with their own families, including their parents and siblings perhaps.

Parent and Child

Caring for a parent and child can be incredibly rewarding. As a parent and child carer, you care for both a parent, often a young mother, and their child, often a new-born baby. The aim of parent and child fostering is to keep them together. As a parent and child carer, you will be modelling positive parenting, providing support with things such as feeding and sleep routines, and will work closely alongside social workers to help them to undertake parenting assessments.

Short Breaks for Disabled Children

With all types of fostering, some children may have additional needs. The short breaks schemes are slightly different, in that the children you look after will not necessarily be children in care. Short Breaks for Disabled Children help families who have children with additional needs to have a regular short break from caring. This can help families to spend time with their other children perhaps, or just help to manage the demands of caring. As a short breaks carer, you would be matched to a child or children and give them a regular break, perhaps one weekend per month.