The types of fostering we offer

There are many ways fostering can work. We’re here to help find the best option for you.

two women and a very young boy

Emergency fostering

Emergency fostering is when we immediately need to find a foster placement for a child or children.

We will contact foster carers who are happy for the child to stay with them until we decide they can go home. Or, if this is not possible until we find an alternative foster home. 

This type of placement is usually only for a couple of days and nights.

Short term fostering

Where we have been working with the family, we can move a child into foster care in a more planned way. We place the child with the foster carer until we are sure of the child's future. The placement could be anything from overnight to a couple of years.

We continue to work with the family to make plans for the child to go home. You'll need a flexible approach while their parents are unable to care for them.

Long term fostering

Long term fostering is providing permanency and security to a child until independence.
You'll be caring for children who, for whatever reason, and despite everyone's best efforts, are unable to live with their family for the remainder of their childhood. 

We give children under eight years of age an adoptive placement. But we place older children in a fostering arrangement.

These children require sustained care throughout the remainder of their childhood. They need time to gain trust and confidence. And to develop the skills they'll need to live independently. They will require support from you to maintain links with their birth families.

Weekend and school holiday care

Some children need to be looked after for a few days to give parents or other foster carers a break. Or to assist during a crisis in the family home. You'll be providing regular care at weekends or during the holidays. This type of fostering is ideal if you are working full time but want to foster. 

Short break foster care

The short break scheme offers children with disabilities regular planned breaks with you in your home. You will become part of a child's life while their parents get a break. 

You'll be giving a disabled child the chance to become more confident and gain some independence. They will experience exciting new opportunities with you.

You do not need any special qualifications or experience. We will provide you with training and support.

Most families are looking for one or two overnights a month. It won't happen immediately. You'll all get the chance to get to know each other and feel confident first. You'll work closely with the parents, the fostering team and other professionals. Together you'll ensure that everything goes smoothly and that the child is happy.

Supported lodgings

Supported lodgings provide a room and 10 hours per week support to a young person aged 16 to 25 years of age. The host supports them until they are ready to live independently. Learn more about supported lodgings.

Specialist fostering

Children with complex needs

Some children have more complex needs. We pay more for you to care for these children because of the additional skills, experience and training you will need. These schemes are called 'specialist fostering'.

Parent and baby

Some new parents do not have a stable and supportive home. This minimal support means they may struggle to look after their baby. 

For parent and baby fostering, the parent and their baby stay with you. They usually stay for about 12 weeks. You are on hand for supervision, advice and support.  

Parent and baby foster carers need to have a spare room and be at home. You need to be confident in caring for a baby and work sensitively with a new parent. 

Helping a young parent to learn the skills to care for their newborn baby is hugely rewarding. 

We pay an additional fee for parent and baby foster care. See the allowances page for more details.

Children with disabilities

Children with disabilities have a wide range of needs. You don't need to have experience of disability to be a disability foster carer, but it is helpful. You do need patience, empathy and drive to care for a child with a physical disability.

Find out more about disability fostering.

Oxfordshire treatment foster care (OTFC)

This type of foster care is for children with the most complex emotional, behavioural and educational needs. 

Find out more about Oxfordshire Treatment Foster Care.

Fostering for adoption

Fostering for adoption means fostering babies and toddlers who are likely to need adoption. But they may have a chance of being reunited with their birth family. You would need to have approval for both fostering and adoption.