Understanding different types of placements

Understanding different types of placements

Children are placed into foster care for many reasons, therefore this can depend on their placement type. Some children can be placed just for short term and eventually returned to their birth family, where as others are placed in long term foster care until they are 18.
Regardless of the placement type, there is constantly a desperate need for more carers to provide a loving and stable home for children away from any harm. Foster carers provide a safe home environment where children can thrive.

Here are an example of the different types of placement to help you understand them and what might be required from you as a Foster Carer.


Emergency placements aren’t unusual and can be the most important when keeping a child safe from harm. Our carers who are approved for Emergency placements, are available from very short notice and have the time and space ready to accommodate a child in their home.
The circumstances of when an emergency placement is required is when a child enters care immediately due to the unsafe environment within their home or unexpected bereavement.
The emergency placement ensures that children have a safe place to stay while any care proceedings can take place or possibly an alternative long term placement is found.

Short Term

Short term fostering is providing a child a place to stay for for a short period until they have more of a long term place to stay. This may be returning to their own family, adoption or simply a carer who can provide a long term placement. Short term fostering is a bit more common as it is giving a child to stay when their parents may be being assessed by the local authority or resolving any domestic or parental issues. This can prevent a child from returning home from just a few days or maybe a few months and can allow the child to continue at their school and carry on with their day to day life.

Long Term

A long term placement can be for many years and up until the child reaches the age of 18. It can make the child feel a part of the family and a true sense of belonging.
The children who require a long term placement, are children who need a stable loving home where they can feel settled and safe. It gives the child consistency and helps develop positive relationships.
It differs to adoption as children in long term placement will remain the legal responsibility of the local authority, whereas adoption the legal rights are transferred to the adoptive parents.