emergency foster care

Emergency foster care

Emergency fostering provides a safe place for a child or young person to stay in an emergency, such as domestic abuse, eviction and more.

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Emergency foster care is needed when a child is at immediate risk of harm, for example, the sudden illness of a parent or the police becoming aware of an incident at their home.

There are many other reasons a child may need an emergency foster carer, but the outcome is always the same: an urgent need to find a temporary foster care home for the child while longer-term plans are put in place, or until it's safe to return home.

Emergency fostering is usually for just a night or two but can be for a little while longer, and they come into care with very little notice.

This is what we mean by emergency placement foster care and it typically takes place outside normal working hours or at weekends. Nobody gets much warning, including foster parents who specialise in emergency fostering placements.

Because of the circumstances, children and young people in need of temporary support are often bewildered, frightened and traumatised. This, and the short-term nature of the work, makes it a very unique but important form of fostering.

emergency foster parent

Role of an emergency foster parent

These are short-term placements to get a child out of danger and into safety, so it’s a very transitional role where you’ll have limited time to impact or influence a child’s development.

If the child is with you for more than a day, you might have to help them get to school or attend appointments and meetings, including with their birth parents. Occasionally children are placed a long way from their own home, so you might have to travel. But rest assured, there’s a lot of support on hand to help.

emergency fostering pay

Emergency fostering pay

As an emergency foster parent, you’ll receive a payment for each night a child spends in your care. Plus you'll have access to our rewards platform where you can find hundreds of discounts to some of your favourite shops, restaurants and family experiences.

Fostering allowance

Are you suited to emergency fostering?

To be an emergency foster parent, you’ll need the same qualities as all foster parents. However, there are some things that are unique. As the focus is on putting the child at ease and helping reduce the stress of the situation, you’ll need to be calm, tolerant and have and the ability to form quick bonds with children.

Emergency fostering is ideal for people who are available at short notice, and who thrive with challenging situations. You can discover how to become a foster parent here or why not take the first steps and speak to us.

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Other types of fostering

respite foster care


Respite carers provide foster parents with a chance to rest, while they take care of the children for a night or two.

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Short-term foster care - foster parent with looked after children


Short term fostering can range from a single night to 2 years, depending on the needs of the child and family.

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Parent and child fostering

Parent & child

Foster parents provide a home to a young expectant mum or a vulnerable parent and their young child.

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keeping siblings together in foster care


There's a real shortage of individuals who can provide siblings with a loving home so they can stay together.

Find out more

Speak to our team

Whether you’re ready to start your journey or just want to chat to an expert, we're here to talk.

Please make sure you read our terms and conditions because you're agreeing to them by submitting an enquiry. It's also worth reading our privacy policy and cookies policy so you understand how we collect and use your personal data.

Ready to start your fostering journey?

By phone

One of our team is available to talk to you over the phone to answer any of your fostering queries.

0800 369 8513

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We have local teams covering most of England. Find your local office today.

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