Types of Foster Care

There are various types of foster care placements you may be asked to consider, such as short term fostering, long term or emergency foster care.

At Capstone, we offer several types of foster care to accommodate a wide variety of circumstances and scenarios. From short stay arrangements to long term loving homes, each type of foster care provided by Capstone is designed to improve the long term well-being of our children. Discover the different types of fostering:

Long-Term Foster Care

Some children are in foster care on a long-term or permanent basis. This can be from a young age until the young person is old enough to leave care and live independently. Often, short term foster care can turn into a long term arrangement - commonly known as a 'permanent foster placement'.  The aim of all our long term fostering placements is to provide a 'home without disruption' for foster children until they reach the age of 18. 

Short-Term Foster Care

When a child needs support for a limited time, they will be cared for by a short-term foster family. Also known as a ‘temporary foster placement’, our short term arrangements usually extend until the child can return home to their birth family or until they find an alternative long term arrangement. This could be until they leave care, move in with a long term foster family or await adoption. Often. short-term fostering can begin as an emergency arrangement. For example, a sudden trauma or event results in a child needing immediate care. The goal for all our short term placements is to provide the same safe, loving environment as our long term placements, whilst working with birth families and social workers to find an appropriate long term arrangement.  

Find out more about the key differences between long term and short term fostering.

Emergency Foster Care

When a child needs to be taken out of their family home due to an incident that could affect their safety, they are placed with an emergency foster family. Sometimes little is known about the child and/or situation, but foster care is provided to ensure the young person can receive immediate protection and sanctuary. Another form of short term fostering, emergency foster care is designed to support children through difficult incidents until further arrangements are made. 

Therapeutic Foster Care

Therapeutic fostering, otherwise known as trauma-informed fostering, is a type of foster care designed to provide children and young people with an additional level of emotional, psychological and social support. Requiring specialist training and education, therapeutic foster carers become part of a specialist therapy team, working with professionals to meet each child's needs and support their development. Therapeutic fostering arrangements can be long term or short term, depending on each child's circumstances. However, all our therapeutic foster carers have access to external therapeutic resources and 24/7 support from our internal team to aid them whilst supporting the child in their care.

Learn more about our therapeutic fostering.

Parent and Child Fostering

Parent and child fostering placements involve a parent (or set of parents) being placed in foster care with their child while they develop the necessary skills to become self-sufficient parents. These arrangements aim to support both the parent(s) and child(ren) to ensure the entire family's safety while the parent(s) are assessed by a social worker to determine whether they’re ready to return home without supervision. Each parent and child arrangement is different, but they are often the result of a lack of support for the parents. So, it's important that our carers are dedicated to guiding and encouraging the parents in their care to ensure the long term wellbeing of the child. 

Parent and Child Assessment Foster Care

Following on from the above, parent and child fostering requires a three-month assessment period. This is usually undertaken by a qualified Capstone social worker or a social worker from a local authority. Learn more about what is assessed during the parent and child assessment period, and what happens when the parents are signed off from the foster care placement.

Planned Breaks

Also known as 'short stay' or ‘respite foster care’, our planned breaks are a type of short-term foster care where the child is placed with a foster family in order to provide children with new experiences away from their family or foster home, whilst also offering parents and carers an opportunity to take a break. Planned breaks can last as little as a weekend to a weeklong break.

Regardless of the different types of foster care you can be part of, your local authority is always looking for a safe place for children and young people to stay. Although there is a need for all types of foster families, short-term foster care is the most common.

Fostering with Capstone Foster Care

If you’re still unsure about which type of fostering is for you, we’re here to help. Here at Capstone Foster Care, we work with carers and provide the support and benefits needed to create nurturing and fulfilling foster homes. Looking for more information? Our knowledge centre is filled with articles to help answer common questions on all aspects of fostering.

Ready to take the next step in your fostering journey? Complete the form below or call one of our advisors on 0800 012 4004 to learn about your next steps in becoming a foster carer.

Thinking of fostering?

If you’ve got any questions or would like to find out more about fostering with Capstone, fill out the form below.
An experienced fostering advisor from your local area will then be in touch.

The information you provide will be used to respond to the enquiry you have submitted, for further information please refer to our privacy policy.

Ways to

Start the conversation today. Our team of friendly advisors are on hand to answer any foster care questions you may have. We can offer you honest and practical advice that can help you decide if becoming a foster carer is the right path for you. 

Request a
call back

Contact us by completing our online form and one of our fostering advisors will respond to your enquiry within 24 hours.

Call us

Contact us by phone and one of our friendly fostering experts will be on hand for any foster care advice and support you require.

Download a Brochure

Download our helpful guide to becoming a foster carer with Capstone Foster Care.