About fostering

Short Term Fostering

Short term fostering is for children and young people who need to be looked after temporarily.

It’s the most common type of fostering and it gives foster parents the opportunity to really make a difference during a time of immense change in a young person’s life.

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What is short term fostering?

Short term fostering is for children and young people who need to be looked after in temporary foster care. It’s the most common type of foster care. Short term foster placements give foster parents the opportunity to support a child and really make a difference during a time of immense change in a young person’s life.

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Benefits of short term fostering

The need for short term fostering

Usually, a child needs a short term foster carer because their families are unable to look after them for a particular time. Some of the reasons why a child or young person may need to go into short term foster care include:

  • Their parents or guardians are unwell.
  • Their parents are finding it difficult to cope with caring for a child at that time.
  • The child is waiting to be adopted.
  • The family is going through care proceedings – so the child goes into foster care while decisions are made about who will look after them in the future.
  • To give parents a short break or respite, for example, if their child is disabled or has complex health needs.

How short term fostering differs from other types of fostering

Short term fostering can range from just a single night to a few weeks, to several months, or as long as two years. It all depends on the individual circumstances of the child and their family. Afterwards, the child might return to their own family or go into a longer fostering placement or become adopted.

Compared to other kinds of fostering, short term foster parents often have higher levels of contact with the children’s birth family whilst assessments are underway, and can also be involved in introducing children to their new adoptive families.

new foster carer

Are you thinking of fostering?

Download the FCA’s complete beginner’s guide to fostering a child. Find out more on how to foster a child and the process involved.


Benefits of working with FCA

24/7 advice service

Excellent ongoing training

Access to your local fostering team

Competitive allowances

Local support groups

Local social activities and events

Allison's fostering story

Allison, a foster parent from FCA Northern Ireland, shares her fostering journey thus far and what it's like to foster while raising your own children.

Read More

foster family

Other types of fostering

From helping a young person with the transition from residential care to providing a foster child with a caring family environment for several years, we have many foster parenting options available.

View fostering types

Get in touch

Ready to start fostering a child or young person? Or just want a bit more information to help you decide whether fostering is for you? All you need to do is contact us.

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