Fostering is about providing a child or young person with a safe, comfortable place that they can call home for a while. There are many types of fostering placements, but the main two are short or long term.
Short-term fostering is more common with young children, and can be anything from a one night emergency stay up to up to two years. These placements often occur whilst plans for a child or young person’s future are being made, for example in between care proceedings or court hearings.
Long-term fostering placements provide children with more permanency if they are unlikely to be returning to their family. Children and young people in long term placements are typically cared for up until they reach adulthood and are able to care for themselves.
Whether short term or long term placements are suitable for you depends on your own family and lifestyle, and the needs of the looked after child. The type of fostering you provide will be agreed as part of your foster carer assessment and may change as you move through your fostering career.
There is a national shortage of foster carers who are looking for long-term placements, with most placements being short-term.