Types of short-term fostering


Some children and young people experience circumstances where they become in need of short-term foster care. Short-term foster carers are required to provide a safe and secure environment for a given period of time, depending on the type of short-term placement that is needed. 

What is short-term fostering?

Short-term fostering is the most common type of foster care. The length of time can be anywhere between a single night of care, to several months. Short-term foster carers provide a child or young person with a safe and stable environment until they are reunified with their birth parents, or a more long-term arrangement can be found.

Why is short-term foster care needed?

Short-term fostering supports children and young people through a difficult period of their young lives and helps to plan for their future – whether this is reuniting with birth parents or not. There are many reasons why a child or young person may need a short-term foster placement, which include:

  • Awaiting adoption
  • Parents or guardians are unwell or there was a bereavement
  • Parents or guardians are having a difficult time coping with caring for a child or young person at the time
  • The family are going through care proceedings, whereby the child or young person is placed into foster care until a decision has been made over future guardianship or custody
  • To provide parents with a short break or respite from their child who may be disabled or has complex health needs

Throughout these short-term placements, every effort is made to ensure the child or young person in care can continue their lives as normal as possible. This includes seeing family, friends and attending school.

How long is short-term foster care?

The duration of care in a short-term fostering placement depends on a number of factors, including whether it’s safe for the child to return to their birth family or whether a long-term placement is being sought for the child. Short-term foster placements can range anywhere between a few days, weeks or several months, which may require short-term foster parents to take on a child or young person with very little notice.

Types of short-term fostering

Emergency fostering

Emergency fostering is when immediate care or protection is needed for a child or young person. This could be for a number of reasons including trauma in the family, an illness or bereavement, abuse or neglect. Due to the specific circumstances and needs of the child, it is often hard to predict how long a child will require short-term care.

Remand fostering

Remand fostering refers to when a young person is on remand. Instead of entering a custody arrangement, they can be placed with a foster carer. The duration of a remand fostering placement can be difficult to predict, as it depends entirely on the length of the young person’s sentence and how long they are waiting on remand for remand.

Respite fostering

Respite fostering is a type of short-term fostering that provides families or foster carers with a break. At Excel Fostering, all our carers are entitled to respite foster arrangements, also known as planned breaks. Usually, this is a 14-day planned break period, but these placements can last as little as a weekend or as long as a fortnight.

Planned breaks are beneficial for both foster parents and foster children, as it allows everyone to take a breather and a recharge – especially when placements begin to feel demanding or overwhelming. This can be particularly true when the child or children in care have a wide range of additional needs. Our planned breaks offer support to our foster carers and foster children with as little disruption as possible.

What is short term-foster care pay?

This depends on various factors such as experience, the age of the child in your care, location and length of placement. However, our rate of pay for a standard placement, including respite payments, is on average around £400 per week. Here at Excel Fostering, we also reward every carer with an annual £200 gift for ongoing carers at the re-approval stage and 14 nights short stay support.

Short-term fostering with Excel Fostering

By becoming a foster carer with Excel Fostering, our dedicated team will be with you every step of the way on your fostering journey. Learn more about the different types of foster care or to find out more information about why you should become a foster parent, get in touch with a member of our friendly team today.

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.

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