Types of fostering

There are lots of different reasons why children and young people come into care. To reflect this, we offer a range of different fostering schemes.  

You may already have some idea of the kinds of fostering you’d like to consider, but we will talk you through the available types and those which might suit you best during your enquiry. It’s important to remember, you can be assessed to provide more than one kind of foster care.  

Once assessed and approved, we’ll try and match the right child to your approval category.  

Respite fostering 

Some foster carers are approved to take children for shorter periods of time such as weekends or school holidays to provide permanent foster carers cover when they need time away from their foster carer duties.  

Many people prefer to foster on this arrangement initially as it allows them to balance work or prior family commitments and gives them a feel for the realities of fostering before making a further commitment.    

Short-term fostering 

Short-term foster carers can look after a child or sibling group between the ages of 0-18. There is no determined amount of time, but it will be for as long as necessary while the long-term plan for that child or young person is being decided.  

A long-term plan for that child might be reunification home with their birth family, adoption or long-term foster care. 

Long-term fostering 

Long-term foster carers provide a home to children until they reach adulthood. This could be 18 or, if the child and carer are happy to continue, this might become a ‘staying put’ arrangement until that child is 21 or 25 if they choose to go to university.  

This can be a long-term solution for children who cannot return home and for whom adoption is not suitable. 

Emergency fostering 

Children can be taken into care in an emergency and during this time we need safe homes to shelter them while we make longer term plans for their care.  

To ensure we have enough availability as a local authority, we have devised a specialist scheme for this kind of fostering which has enhanced fees and a retainer. The expectations of a foster carer on this emergency scheme are significant. A carer is expected to accept a child no matter their age or background on an emergency and temporary basis. They need to have consistent and regular availability and understand they may be called on any time of the day or night to provide accommodation.  

Children and young people seeking sanctuary 

As a City of Sanctuary, Newcastle is committed to caring for children who may have travelled from abroad unaccompanied by an adult or any family relation.  

Fostering a child seeking asylum or refugee requires the same level of understanding and commitment required for any fostered child but with the understanding there will be additional barriers such as language, lack of background information and identification.  

In Newcastle, we are running a specialist pilot designed to assess and find the right kind of accommodation for young people who have journeyed from overseas. Call us directly for more information: 0191 277 2430 

Build a Future fostering 

Build a Future is a specialist fostering scheme. It is aimed at supporting young people who are currently living in residential homes (children’s homes) or who are complex adolescents on the cusp of requiring residential services. Build a Future carers support these young people by providing them with a therapeutic environment to grow.  

As part of this model, carers are provided with a dedicated support network including access to a specific supervising social worker, Team Manager, resource workers, psychotherapist support and a dedicated 24/7 support line. The fees and allowances for this scheme are enhanced as this role requires prior experience of working with hard to engage young people in a professional setting. 

Change a Future fostering 

Change a Future leads on from our Build a Future model. It is a scheme designed to provide stable and loving homes to children who would otherwise be accommodated in a secure or external residential setting. 

Owing to the complex behaviours a child may initially present with, those eligible for this scheme will have demonstrable experience of working with children or challenging adults in a professional setting. As part of this model, carers are provided with a dedicated support network. The fees and allowances for this scheme are enhanced as this role requires prior experience of working with hard to engage young people in a professional setting. 

Short break care fostering 

Fostering children with a disability or additional need is a specialist kind of care we call short breaks. Children who require this kind of foster care will likely live with their birth families, but who, because of the needs of the child, require short breaks away from time to time.  

This could be for a weekend, overnight or care during the day. The children may come to spend time with you in your home or you may be better placed to support them in their own home.  

Children may have additional needs such as ADHD or Autism or they could require PEG feeding or other complex nursing requirements. 

Parent and child fostering 

Parent & Child is a specialised type of fostering. The task for a foster carer is to teach a teenager or young adult the responsibilities of parenting. While you will accommodate a baby, as well as the parent, your focus lies with teaching the parent how to interact, feed, change and meet the emotional and developmental needs of their child.  

This is a challenging role, as a foster carer’s task is to observe and encourage a parent, not take care of the baby on the parent’s behalf. 

Community fostering 

Community fostering’s focus is to support children to remain living within their home environment and reduce their risk of becoming accommodated in local authority care. 

Community Foster Carers can support parents to access community services and parenting programmes and work closely with other agencies to support parents. They must also share information with the relevant services. This role tends to be something additional for experienced and approved foster carers. 

Supported Lodgings 

Unlike fostering, supported lodgings is a non-regulated type of accommodation. This means only children over 16 can live in this kind of arrangement. Supported lodgings aims to give young people aged between 16 and 21, good quality accommodation, together with the security and support that living with a responsible adult can offer.  

There are lots of reasons why young people need supported lodgings. It could be that they have experienced a family breakdown or have recently left full time care and are not ready to live on their own. The scheme provides a steppingstone for young people to help them learn the skills to live independently.  

Unlike fostering, the expectation is not as great for a carer, but some availability is still required. You can find more about this kind of scheme here.