What’s the difference between long term and short term fostering?
Long term fostering tends to be when the long-term care plan is known for the child (who is not returning back to their family) and they will stay in long term fostering until they become adults.
A majority of foster children will start with a short term care plan, and then once they finish going through care proceedings or court hearings it will be decided whether they go back to their birth family or remain in long term foster care.
How long is a placement before it is classified as long term?
Short term foster placements can include anything from a single night emergency placement, up to 2 years. The legal process is much better than it used to be, and so care proceedings tend to be 25-26 weeks.
Short term placements stay with you in this time until their longer-term plans have been confirmed.
What effect will short term placements have on my family?
Some families prefer not to opt for short term placements because they feel it is disruptive for their birth children, and some prefer shorter-term pieces of work as it leaves them without the commitment to longer-term care. There are many pros and cons for each approach, and each individual carer should choose which option best fits them and their family.
Family life is more flexible with short term fostering as long term the children become part of your family and you can see them progress. Short term means that you are involved in the day-to-day life of that child and are having a big impact on their life, but you aren’t committed to them for years at a time.
Discover other types of fostering placements here.
October 7 2016
What is fostering like for the sons and daughters of foster carers?
We asked our sons and daughters what fostering is like for them - discover their poems and drawings about fostering.
May 8 2017
Foster Care Fortnight: Foster Care Transforms Lives
Being a foster carer is a career like no other and makes such a difference to the lives of many children.
September 25 2019
Fostering When You Have a Child – Why You Should Consider it!
Fostering when you have a child of your own living at home can be an enriching and rewarding experience that your whole family benefits from.
December 6 2018
How You Can Help Your Child Deal with Frustration and Anger
Many of the children and young people coming into care suffer from severe emotional delays, often due to their past experience of neglect and abuse.
March 28 2018
How to Support Your Own Children When Fostering
Our foster carers share some invaluable advice on how to support your own children when you're new to fostering.
April 11 2018
How to Prepare for Your First Foster Child
Read some advice from our foster carers on how to prepare for the arrival of your first foster child.
Ready to start your fostering journey?
One of our team is available to talk to you over the phone to answer any of your fostering queries.
You can get in touch by filling out our online enquiry form with any queries that you may have.
Your local office
We have local teams covering most of England. Find your local office today.