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The different types of foster care.

There are many different types of foster care in the UK. Depending upon your individual circumstances you may find that one form of foster care is more suited to you.

•Emergency foster care:

Emergency foster carers need to be prepared to take a foster child into their home at very short notice. Emergency foster placements are only used for unplanned crises. For example, if a parent has been hospitalised or in extreme cases of abuse. Emergency placements usually only lasts a few days before a longer-term solution can be arranged.

•Short-term foster care:

A short-term placement can be anything from an overnight stay to several months. Short-term care is the most prevalent form of foster care in the UK. Carers provide a temporary home to children before they can return home or be put up for adoption. Often, children in short-term care will maintain contact with their birth family.

•Long-term foster care:

In some cases, children will not be able to be reunited with their birth family for several years, if at all. Long-term fostering provides children in care with an alternative familial environment and stability. Similarly, to short-term placement, children will often retain contact with their birth family.

•Support care:

Support care is a contemporary alternative to traditional foster homes. It is a form of part-time care, where a child might stay from a few hours each week to a couple of weekends each month. This gives their own family or guardians respite and support. This is a preventative system designed to stop young people from entering the care system.

•Specialist care:

Specialist carers undergo extra training to help them specialise in caring for children with unique needs. This could include children with severe behavioural issues, learning disabilities or mental health issues.

Team London Fostering Blog.