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Long term fostering

If a child is unable to return to the care of their birth family, but adoption is not appropriate for that child, long term foster carers may need to be found to care for them.

As the title suggests, these foster carers will normally care for a child for a longer period of time than a short term carer – often through to independence. Children who need long term fostering are likely to be older children (not usually younger than 7 years old). These older children may benefit from keeping in regular contact with their brothers, sisters, parents and wider family.

Children in long term placements may stay with their foster carers until they leave home to live independently. However, it may be that changes occur and decisions can be made which result in a child returning to the care of their parents earlier than expected.

Long term fostering allows children and young people to live with a family where they can feel secure and experience a stable family environment, while maintaining contact with their birth family where that's right for them. Foster families who can open their homes to these children right the way through to independence are currently being sought across the UK.


In our experience, Local Authorities take six months and Independent Fostering Agencies take an average of four months to complete the assessment. However Local Authorities are catching up.

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Foster care course

As your application proceeds you will be invited to attend a training course, most  Agencies use the Fostering Network course called "Skills to Foster".

Foster Care in the UK.

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The social worker will visit you and your family at home. It is important that you discuss your plans with your children at an early stage and check out how they feel about being part of a fostering family.

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Any further questions you would like answered please contact Simply Fostering through our contact us form.

Short term fostering Tempory task centred fostering