What is short-term fostering?
Short-term foster care can mean anything from an overnight stay to a period of several months or even longer.
Who is it for?
It can involve children and young people of all ages, a child on their own or a group of siblings, and children with disabilities or special needs. Of the different types of foster care, short-term foster care is the one used most often.
Why is it needed?
It is intended as a temporary arrangement until the child can return home or move to a permanent home. It may be needed because a parent is unwell or until support can be put in place. There could be an investigation underway into an allegation which has raised concerns about the child, or the child may be waiting for adoption.
Why do it?
There is a real need for short-term foster carers who are able to welcome children into their home at short notice and for an indefinite period. For foster families there is an opportunity to take time out between the departure of one child and the arrival of another.
Occasionally, there may be periods when you are not fostering even though you are available. Although, councils will nearly always try and match children with their own carers first, which often means that if you do get a gap between placements, it is very short. This is important as you’re only paid when you have a placement.