Types of fostering

There are many different types of fostering you can choose to specialise in, each bringing different challenges and rewards. Once you have made the important decision to foster, you need to think about the kind of fostering that's right for you, your family and your circumstances. We'll help you do this during our assessment process.

All children who come into foster care are different and with different circumstances - some need placing in an emergency, for respite or for a short time, while others need a long-term placement.

We urgently need more foster carers to look after Kirklees children, especially those who can care for brothers and sisters, older children and teenagers.

Short-term fostering

Short-term fostering placements can last anything from a few months to over two years. Children and young people in short term placements need support until they return to their families or move to longer term planned placements, including adoption.

In short term fostering, a foster carer is relied upon to provide a safe, secure place to live while a child carries on their day-to-day life. The child continues to attend their own school and see their friends and family wherever possible. Children often have regular contact with their birth families and a key responsibility of foster carers is to support this contact for their fostered child.

Children who need this short-term care are across the age range, from babies up to teens.

Long-term fostering

Long-term placements can have massive benefits for the child. They keep them closer to their friends, and allow them to maintain contact with their birth family if it is felt to be in their best interests. This may only be limited contact, but it maintains a link with the child's parents which may be important to them or to their development.

Children who need long term foster families tend to be school-aged upwards. Unfortunately, the older the child, the more difficult it is to find them a permanent home. For sibling groups and children with physical, learning or behavioural issues, their chances are further diminished.

Sometimes we are unable to find local, long term foster families for children. This means children have to face the added upheaval of being moved around, possibly away from their family, school and friends. Experience has shown us that children who are moved out of their local area may find it harder to build new friendships and long-standing relationships.

Long-term fostering allows a child to grow up in a safe, secure environment, until they are a young adult and ready to live independently.

Short break care

This is a specialist fostering scheme for disabled children and young people, who might have a learning, physical or sensory disability, significant health care needs, or a combination of these. Skilled foster carers look after many of these children on a regular basis, and can provide a respite service for a child's parent carers or guardians. They also offer ongoing support for children and young people who are unable to live with their birth parents or families.

This scheme aims to broaden the social lives and experience of the children and young people and their families.

Supported lodgings

This scheme provides help, care and support to young people aged 16+ who are leaving the care of the local authority, or in some cases coming into care.

Our supported lodgings carers provide young people somewhere stable, safe and secure to live. They need support to develop the skills they require to make the transition to independent living. This could be anything from showing them how to cook or manage their money, teaching them how to apply for work or college, or helping them with important life skills in general.

These are things some of us have been able to take for granted, but for others, will make a huge difference to their future.

This scheme is a good option for people who enjoy spending time with young adults, have the skills to communicate with them and an understanding of their needs.

You will undertake a shorter assessment as a supported lodgings carer. This is a separate scheme to support our young people, for which you will receive payments. You are not registered as a foster carer and can continue to work full time.