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Types of fostering

Foster carers come in all shapes and sizes, from all different walks of life and have a range of life experiences, but we believe there’s a type of foster care to fit everyone.

Fostering provides a home for children and young people who can no longer be cared for by their parents. There are many different types of fostering depending on the needs of the child or young person. A foster carer may be there to care for a child in an emergency, or they may provide a long-term home for the remainder of a child’s time in care. Either way, you could be there with them for some of the most important milestones of their life.


There are many different types of foster care to meet the needs of children in Rotherham which include:

You can foster if

Not sure which path is right for you? Book a chat with one of our fostering advisers to discuss which type of foster care is best for you and your family.

Task centred foster care

Task centred foster care, also known as short-term foster care, can range from a one night stay to a period of up to two years while the local authority assesses what the best next steps are for the child’s future care.


Task centred foster care is for children in our care who need a temporary place to stay before returning to their families or into longer-term fostering or adoption. 


Long-term foster care

If children are not able to go back to their own families for an extended period of time, long-term fostering offers children a more stable home, often lasting until they are 18 and where possible until they are older.

The stability of a home match is key for the development of all looked after children and can be equally rewarding for the fostering family.

Task Centred

Belinda's story

Belinda decided to become a short-term (or task centred) foster carer. This means that she takes children for one night or up to a stay of several months while the local authority determines where the best long-term match would be.

At first she thought that this would be a good way to get a taste for what foster care was all about. Belinda has been fostering for 11 years now and can’t imagine doing anything else! 

She has continued to be a task centred foster carer as she loves being able to help a range of children and is great at preparing them for moving on to a longer term home match. Her favourite moments are when her work ends with looked after children being reunited with their birth parents or finding a great life with a future adoptive or long-term fostering family.

Belinda is often called upon with little notice when there is a need to quickly find a home for a child to stay. She is a calm and adaptable person, so this doesn’t phase her. 

Second home foster care

Second Home Care, also known as respite carers, provide a home away from home for children to allow them some time away from their foster carers in a place they’re familiar with. This can be for a one night sleepover or a whole week.

                                                                                                               Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC)

Unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC) are children and young people who have been separated from their parents or carers and are seeking asylum in the UK. Most of the time, these young people will have travelled great distances to flee war, political violence, threats to life, exploitation and abuse. While their asylum claim is processed, these children are cared for by a local authority. Our UASC foster carers work with Fostering Rotherham to look after the children in a short- or long-term basis. 

Second home care

Want to learn more?

John and Adam's story

John and Adam are respite carers. They provide a home-away-from-home for children to allow them some time away from their foster carers in a place they’re familiar with. This can be for a one night sleepover or a whole week.

The couple are both teachers and wanted to be able to continue with the careers they had built at the same time as being foster carers. 

They really enjoy welcoming the same children to their home for a sleepover or a weekend stay or for longer during the school holidays.
Respite care is also available through our Mockingbird Hubs.


Emergency foster care

Emergency foster carers are prepared to take a child into their home at any time, usually for up to a few days. This type of fostering often requires an unplanned move offering temporary care until further plans are made. Similar to task-centred foster care, this is temporary while the local authority assesses the child’s future care.

Parent and child foster care

Parent and child home matches provide a safe and secure environment for new parents to learn how to parent to the best of their ability with the guidance of a foster carer. In some cases, a mother may be come into parent and child care during pregnancy, so they have time to settle in and have time to prepare.

Stepdown programme

If you have experience of caring for and working children, or have fostered before, you may want to help young people with very complex needs. This comes with its own suite of additional support, which includes a 360-degree support network through our Stepdown Programme.

Families Together scheme

Our Families Together team is a group of specialist foster carers that support families who have a child with additional needs. They look after disabled children aged 0-19 for short periods such as a tea-time meal, a weekend sleepover or a longer stay during the school holidays.

Emergency foster care
Fostering stories

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