West Berkshire Council

Types of Foster Placements

The different types of placement that you can be a foster carer for

Emergency Placements

This type of fostering is unplanned and required at short notice. It is required when children have to be removed or accommodated for their own safety or when a lone parent is taken into hospital and there is no one to care for their child.

Short term placements

This can mean anything from an overnight stay to several months. Short term foster carers provide a temporary place for a child until they can return to their family or a longer term foster placement or adoption arrangement can be made.

Long-term fostering

Most of the children will start by needing a short period of fostering but sometimes this develops into a long term situation or may even progress to adoption. We need foster carers who may be prepared to take a child on a long-term basis, or until they are ready for independent living. Long-term fostering allows a child to grow up in a safe, secure and supportive environment and to keep in touch with their birth families.

Short break

Also known as 'shared care' or 'respite care'. This type of placement is for children specifically for children with learning needs or physical disabilities. Short break carers might have a child to stay from a few hours each week to a couple of weekends a month, giving their own family or foster carers a break.

Sibling groups

We believe that where possible siblings should be kept together. At times of separation from their parents or under a severe sense of loss siblings take comfort from the stability they get from each other. Taking more than one foster child into your home may seem a daunting task, however you will receive all the support you need.


Teenagers need carers who are able to listen to them and help them make sense of the world and their role within it. Patience and understanding are crucial qualities for foster carers of this age group as is the ability to lay down clear and fair boundaries.

This can be an awkward time for any young person, as they start to discover their identity and find their feet. Because of the experiences they have gone through, many young people need help to improve their self-confidence. Teenagers need carers who remember the emotional and physical turmoil of being this age and can be patient and resilient so they can get past the teenager's tough exterior to reach the child inside.

Mother and baby

Becoming a parent can be an overwhelming task. If, however, you are young and totally alone the prospect of becoming a parent can be both confusing and terrifying. If you feel you are able to help a young parent or a young parent-to-be then please contact us.

Special needs

Some children have special needs which can be physical, behavioural or educational. Children with special needs require specialist care and attention. If you foster these children, you will learn a great deal about the needs of children who require specialised support and during the process you will also learn about the special qualities you have in yourself.

Supported Lodgings

Supported Lodgings offer a safe place for a young person (aged 16 plus) to live, as a lodger, with support from our Leaving Care Team with the aim of supporting the young people the opportunity to achieve full independence,.

If you are interested in this type of fostering - Please can contact Step by Step who as one of West Berkshire partner agencies provide this type of provision. Please see link below