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Types of fostering

There are some great options available to you if you are looking to foster with us. We will work with you throughout the process and help you to choose the right type of fostering for you and your family.

We currently have an urgent need for the following:

  • foster carers for sibling groups
  • long term foster carers
  • teenage foster carers
  • Foster Xtra

Short term

Short term fostering can be anything from a few days to more than a year. It provides a safe place for a child to live while we work with the child's family to try and sort through any problems. Each child will be facing their own muddle of emotions, many will be confused and upset about the move. As a foster carer you will have an important role in helping the child to understand what is happening to them.

Short term foster carers are needed to look after children of all ages from young children to teenagers.

Long term

Sometimes when children are unable to return home to live with their parents, they may need a long term foster home. This allows the child to grow up as part of your family until they are able to live independently.

Many of the children will keep in touch with their birth families, and you will play an important part in supporting them with this.

Long term foster carers are needed for children aged five years and upwards.

Foster Xtra

Foster Xtra is a specialist type of foster care, specifically for children who need extra support and understanding. They may have experiences from their early life which they are struggling to cope with and this may show in their emotions and behaviour. Fostering Plus offers extra support to children and the families who care for them, including therapeutic support to help them have a more positive future. 

Fostering teenagers

Teenage years are often difficult, when young people are learning to stand on their own two feet and testing out their boundaries. It's also a critical time in their development, when the choices they make are likely to have a major impact on their future.

As a foster carer for teenagers, you will need to be sensitive to their situation, patient, tolerant and understanding. It can be very challenging, but there are great rewards in using your abilities to help a young person develop confidence in themselves, resolve their problems and make plans for the future. We recognise the qualities and skills involved in working with teenagers and have developed an excellent support package.

Family and friends - kinship carers

When children are unable to live with their parents we will look to see if there are other family members who can care for them, such as grandparents, aunts or uncles. This is called kinship or family and friends foster care

Short break care

Short break carers usually offer regular weekend and school holiday care to children who are in longer term foster care or residential schooling. Sometimes short break care can be a way of helping parents in difficulty by giving them and the child a break away from each other. This can help relieve the pressure and prevent problems from getting out of hand. If you offered this type of care you would work closely with other professionals and the child's family.

Disabled children

Some foster carers choose to specialise in fostering children with physical disabilities or learning difficulties. If you are interested in fostering disabled children we can offer additional training and support. As a foster carer for disabled children you will find yourself working with a range of health care professionals.

Remand carers

Young people who have been remanded by the courts are sometimes placed with specialist foster carers. This is usually for short periods of time, although it can last for several months if a court case is delayed. As a remand foster carer you would be expected to carry out the requirement of the court, which may include a curfew.

Private fostering

Private fostering is where a child is cared for and lives with an adult who is not related to them, this may be a friend or neighbour. You should inform us if you are caring for a child through a private arrangement. 

Contact us
03000 269 400
Our address is:
  • Children and Young People's Services
  • Spectrum 8
  • Spectrum Business Park
  • Seaham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • SR7 7TT
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