Children in interim foster care

Interim fostering

Interim fostering is a type of temporary foster care that lasts under 24 months, and provides children with a stable, loving home before they return to their birth family or while a permanent placement is being arranged.

What is interim foster care?

Interim fostering involves caring for a baby, child or young person on a short-term, temporary basis while difficulties at home are resolved. The child may be expected to return to their birth family once it's safe to do so, or it might be that a permanent placement needs to be found. Lasting any number of weeks or months up to 24 months, interim care is a crucial type of temporary foster care that provides children with stable homes when they need it most.

How interim fostering differs to other types of fostering

The length of time a child stays in interim care varies from just one night to a few weeks, to several months, or as long as two years. It all depends on the individual circumstances of the child and their family. Usually, getting the child back with their birth family is the ultimate goal, but if this isn't what's best for the child, a more permanent solution will be arranged, such as long-term fostering or adoption.

Compared to other kinds of fostering, interim foster carers often have higher levels of contact with the children’s birth family whilst assessments are underway.

interim foster carer and child baking

Why children need interim fostering

Usually, interim placements are required when a child's family are unable to look after them for a particular time. A baby, child or young person may need to go into temporary foster care because:

  • Their parents or guardians are unwell.
  • They may be at risk from harm at home.
  • Their parents are finding it difficult to cope with caring for a child at that time.
  • The family is going through care proceedings – so the child goes into foster care while decisions are made about who will look after them in the future.

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

learning about interim foster care

How to become an interim foster carer

To start your fostering journey, the first step is to fill out our online form and we’ll be in touch to talk to you more about fostering, check you meet the initial criteria to foster and of course, answer any questions you may have. Our team will then arrange to visit you at home, so find out in more depth about fostering and also give us the opportunity to get to know you better. You’ll then need to fill in an application form and, if accepted, you’ll start your full fostering assessment.

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

foster children smiling

Fostering Allowances

You’ll receive a generous fostering payment for every week a child or young person is in your care, designed to reward your professionalism and commitment.

Find out what you could earn

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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