Emergency Foster Care

Sometimes children need a safe place to stay in the event of an emergency, often with little to no warning. Emergency foster care provides them with that much-needed security when they need it most.

What is emergency foster care?

Emergency fostering is a short-term type of foster care for when a child desperately needs a safe place to live at very short notice. There might be violence in the home, the sudden passing or illness of a parent, or a serious accident may have occurred that means the home is no longer safe. In these situations, the best thing for the child’s safety and wellbeing is to go into emergency placement foster care.

The role of an emergency foster carer is no different to other types of foster care. However, it’s slightly different in that it’s unlikely you’ll get any information about the child before they arrive in your home. Emergency fostering means caring for a child temporarily with very short notice. You’ll need to be supportive and nurturing to help the child settle during what will be a scary and confusing time.

How long does emergency fostering last?

Emergency respite foster care is short-term, usually lasting a few nights while the child’s circumstances are assessed or local family members are located. Emergency foster care placements are needed at any time of day or night, with very short notice, so we work hard to support our foster carers through the process and offer 24/7 help and advice.

In some cases, emergency foster care placements may be extended to last several months, or if appropriate, it becomes a longer-term placement. It’s all about whatever is best for the child.

Are you thinking of fostering?

Download the FCA’s complete beginner’s guide to fostering a child. Find out more on how to foster a child and the process involved.

Download Guide

long term foster carers

Emergency fostering pay

As an emergency foster carer, you receive a payment for each night the child is in your care. This is to cover the costs of caring for the child or young person, so you can provide them with more than just the basics.

Fostering Allowances

How to become an emergency foster carer

Helping a vulnerable child in a time of urgent need is a brilliant and rewarding thing to do in your community. You need to be flexible, adaptable and patient, as well as passionate about making a difference.

If you want to find out more about becoming a foster carer, just send us an enquiry and we’ll get back to you for a friendly, informal chat where we'll gladly answer all of your questions.

Enquire Now

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply to become a foster carer?

Anyone can apply to foster with us. We welcome foster carers from all walks of life; no matter what your gender, age, race or sexual orientation. We do have criteria though:

  • You need a spare room
  • You need to be over 21
  • You need to have British Citizenship or permanent leave to stay in the UK

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.

Do I need to have a spare room to foster?

Yes, you’ll need to have a spare bedroom to foster a child.

There are a number of different reasons why you need a spare bedroom in your home.  Primarily it is part of the Fostering Services National Minimum Standards stating every child over the age of three should have their own bedroom.  But not only this, there are many other factors such as the child’s safety, security and privacy to also consider.

A child needs their own bedroom to provide a sense of security and dedicated space to play or be creative without distraction.

Learn more about fostering and a spare bedroom.

Is there a maximum age to foster?

There really is no maximum age limit for fostering with us and many of our foster carers continue to foster well into their 70s.

All we ask is that you’re still able to fulfill the more active side of fostering – such as the school run and outdoor activities – and that you can do so with enthusiasm and energy.

Find out more.

Can I still work and be a foster carer?

In some cases it is still possible for you to continue working on a part-time or flexible basis depending on your individual circumstances.

Ideally we ask for at least one foster carer to be available for fostering on a full-time basis, so that we can ensure that the child or young person in your care is being looked after in the best way possible. As a foster carer, you have responsibility for day-to-day tasks; the school run, be available during school holidays, attend medical appointments on behalf or with your child, attend training, review meetings.  Should you have a problem on an odd occasion, your supervising social worker can help you make alternative arrangements.

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.

Interested in becoming a foster carer 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

Other types of fostering

Speak to our team

Whether you’re ready to start your journey or just want to chat to an expert, we're here to talk.



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