Types of Fostering

There are several types of fostering, including permanent and part-time roles, as well as specialist placements

Short-term fostering

Short-term foster care offers children a safe and stable place to live while assessments are made and plans put in place for their future. They’ll stay with you until they can return home or move to a new permanent home. Short-term fostering can last for days, weeks or anything up to two years.

Long-term fostering

If children can’t return to their family homes and adoption isn’t an option, you can offer them long-term fostering, also known as “permanence”.

In this situation, children become part of your family: you’ll look after them throughout their childhood and help them acquire the life skills and confidence they need to eventually leave home as an adult.

Respite fostering

Respite carers look after children on a part-time basis. This can mean for a day or few days every week or month, according to the needs of the child and their family.  

Respite care can offer also children a break from their usual carers, and vice versa. We can ask our respite carers to look after children when you or they, need a break.

Resilience fostering

Long term family based placements for children, between 10-18 years old, who need a higher than usual level of support. Find out more about our resilience placement scheme.

Shared care for disabled children

Under the shared care scheme, a disabled child is looked after for regular short periods. This can be for a few hours, weeks or more - depending on everyone’s needs.

Children on this scheme have permanent disabilities: these may be learning, physical, sensory or developmental issues, or a diagnosed medical condition. You’ll help them to make new friends and have fun experiences. You’ll also be giving their families a break. 

If you’d like to be a shared carer, it would be useful if you have experience of looking after disabled children. However, this is not essential.

Parent and child

This type of fostering can offers 12-week placements for children and their parent (or parents) in a foster home. You’ll be helping to assess a parent’s ability to look after their children during the placement, offering help and promoting good parenting on a 24-hour basis.

We offer parent and child carers a support package. This includes:

  • A monthly reflection and support meeting with a clinical psychologist
  • Fortnightly supervision with your supervising social worker
  • Help from an experienced foster carer.

Remand fostering

This type of fostering involves looking after young people on short-term placements because the courts have decided that they can’t return to their family home.


Pathways carers help young people aged 16 - 21 to gain the skills needed for independent living, while they live in a safe, family environment.

You’ll be helping young people with:

  • Budgeting
  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Getting into education
  • Finding work

 Pathways carers are not foster carers.

Unaccompanied asylum seekers

Bournemouth may have a requirement for foster carers to look after unaccompanied children and young people for a range of different periods.

Only those carers already on our register will be considered for these roles should they become available.


Contact Us


Fostering and Placements Team

0800 009 3084


Customer Services Centre

St Stephens Road


  • Name