Types of fostering

There are many different types of foster care. To understand the difference, it’s important to understand why children come into care.

Why do children need foster care?

Every child’s circumstances are totally unique, but generally they come into care because of a small number of reasons. In some cases it is due to abuse and neglect or medical and educational neglect. Sadly, many children and young people experience more than one, resulting in long-term emotional and behavioural issues.

There are other reasons for children coming into care, including:

foster family

How long will the child stay with foster carers?

Generally, the plan is always to return the child to their birth parents and they’ll remain in foster care until that’s possible. In some cases, it becomes clear that they simply can’t return. In others, it takes a time to put everything in place. This means that fostering placements vary in length, and in the nature of the challenge. This is why we need all to cover all types of foster care from short term foster carers to long term placements. It also means that there are several different types of fostering.

Types of fostering

Long term fostering

This means that the care planning process has concluded that they will thrive best if they are cared for away from home with a foster family on a permanent basis. This type of fostering would mean caring for a child or young person until independence.

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Interim fostering 

Interim fostering involves short term care for a baby, child or young person for a few weeks or months while difficulties at home are resolved and is often linked to further assessments of the young person or family members together with court processes.

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Continuing care

Continuing Care takes children through to the age of 21, ensuring a more seamless and supported transition to adulthood. It’s available to all young people who are, or have been, in a continuing relationship with a foster carer.

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Short break fostering

Also known as respite fostering, this is where a foster carer takes on the care and support of a child or young person so that the usual foster carer can take a well-deserved break. We offer all of our foster carers respite care every year so there’s an on-going need for carers to step in.

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Solo fostering

In some cases, it’s often important for the child or young person to be a ‘solo’ placement - in other words,  they’re the only child in the home. That means solo fostering is usually only suitable for foster carers without other children (biological or fostered) in their home.

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Fostering siblings

Keeping brothers and sisters from the same birth family together after being placed in foster care is crucial. This type of fostering focuses on matching sibling groups with foster homes big enough for multiple foster children and foster parents who are capable of meeting their needs.

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Specialist fostering

Calling for huge amounts of care, compassion and patience, this type of fostering often involves handling medications and managing complex care routines, so it’s especially demanding on your time and commitment.

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Asylum seeking children

Fostering unaccompanied asylum-seeking children can be extremely rewarding experience as you provide them with a safe and secure home environment. Your role is to support them for as long as they need, helping them adapt to a new culture.

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Interested in becoming a foster parent with FCA Scotland?

Do you have the skills and compassion needed to be a foster parent? Enter your town or postcode to find your nearest office or get in touch today.

Find your local office by selecting your region below

Frequently asked questions

What is the process of becoming a foster carer?

Applying to become a foster carer involves a number of steps and starts when you contact us.

Step 1 - Get in touch

We’ll have a chat to you talk to one of our friendly fostering advisors by calling 0141 646 4805 or filling in our enquiry form

Step 2 - We’ll visit you at home

We will arrange for one of our fostering advisors to visit you at home to talk to you in more detail and what to expect and how we will support you and find out a bit more about you.

Step 3 - Start your application

If you decide you’d like to apply to foster with us, we’ll start you application process.  The process involves filling in an application form and once accepted we will then undertake your fostering assessment.

Step 4 - Fostering assessment

Following your application we’ll undertake a fostering assessment.  Your assessing social worker will visit you and your family at home a number of times to speak to you and collect information about you and your life.  It will help us to understand more about you.  In addition you will attend a preparatory training course to help you learn more about fostering and how to handle different situations.  The assessment process takes between four to six months.

Step 5 - Meet the panel

Once your assessment is finished you will go to a fostering panel who will make their recommendation.  The group is made up of people with fostering experience.  Your social worker will help you prepare and be there for support. Read our blog about panel to help you understand.

Once approved the real fostering journey starts.

Learn more about the fostering process.

Do I get any breaks or holidays while fostering?

We do offer respite your supervising social worker can speak to you about what it entails.

What kind of support will I receive?

We wouldn’t expect anyone to foster without the right support, so when you foster with FCA Scotland you are not alone.

Become a foster carer with us and you have access to:

  • Social Work Support– you will have a dedicated supervising social worker who is your main point of contact and will organise monthly meetings and support for you whenever you need it
  • 24 / 7 support
  • Training and development - We will prepare you to foster and keep developing your skills with an ongoing training programme featuring both face to face and online courses through our Learnative portal.
  • Events and activities – we host a range of events and activities for all the family to enjoy.
  • Online portal – Join our online community with our Carer Portal The Exchange just for FCA Scotland foster carers. It gives you free and instant access to information and advice right when you need it – day or night, 365 days a year. Plus access to a range of discounts to some major retailers and online stores.
  • Fostering Network membership - useful and practical benefits, including insurance, legal protection, medical and stress advice helplines, as well as a foster care magazine.

What training will I receive as a foster carer?

We pride ourselves on being a learning organisation and are proactive in helping both our foster carers and employees to develop their skills, knowledge and experience.

We are committed to providing high quality training that is accessible and relevant to all of our foster carers.

More FAQs

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