Foster Care Placement Types


Foster care placement can last for days, months or sometimes years. While some children return to their birth families, others may stay in foster care for long term or short term periods. There are therefore different types of placements depending on children’s needs.


01. Emergency
Sunbeam provides a 24 hour a day emergency service. Many carers choose to specialise in short term work and are able to accept unplanned, emergency placements. An emergency placement ideally should not exceed few days and it would be anticipated that the child or young person should be moved to a more suitable placement within a week in a planned way.
02. Short Term Placements
Provision of short term care that could be for a few days, weeks or months, whilst plans are made for the child’s future by the Local Authority.
03. Bridging Placements
We can provide bridging placements for children or young people while permanency plans are being formulated. In such placements, Sunbeam foster carers work with children/young people and their families toward reunification, or prepare children/young people for joining adoptive or long term/permanent fostering families, or for moving to a semi-independent or an independent living arrangement.
04. Respite Placements
Respite placements are provided to give parents a break or offer additional support if they do not have their own support network. In addition, respite is also offered to our own foster carers and is available in order to support placement demands and needs.
05. Long Term Placements
These placements are where adoption is not an option, and the foster carer will care for a child/young person up to and into adult independence.
06. Sibling Placements
Sibling placements are for brother and sisters who all are placed together into a foster care household. Sunbeam believes in keeping siblings together within a family environment unless it is deemed inappropriate by the placing Authority.
07. Solo Placements
Sunbeam foster carers routinely look after children and young people who may make considerable demands upon them and also upon the services of the Agency. However, occasionally a child or young person has very specific and complex needs which, initially at least, require a higher than usual level of support, monitoring and supervision. Because of his/her needs, a child or young person may require constant individual attention and supervision that precludes the placement of any other fostered children/young people or prohibits the use of any remaining placement vacancies within the foster home. With such placements, there is usually higher-level input from the Agency.
08. Parent And Child Placements
Placements are available for mothers and/or fathers and their child, where foster carers can provide support and guidance to parent(s) and help them develop parenting skills. If requested, and by arrangement with the placing Local Authority, a formal assessment of parenting ability can be undertaken by suitably qualified and experienced Sunbeam staff in conjunction with the Sunbeam foster carer. Comprehensive written assessment reports, for use in child protection conferences, planning meetings, statutory reviews or court proceedings, can be prepared.
09. Asylum Seeker Placements
Sunbeam has a pool of very experienced foster carers from diverse backgrounds who are willing to advocate, access services and work within the child’s care plan in supporting and caring for unaccompanied children and young people from outside the UK.

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