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Types of fostering

Discover the many different types of fostering available. We can help you decide which suits you best.

All foster carers want to make a difference to the lives of the children they foster. We can help you to use your existing skills in new ways, improve your work-life balance, or start a new career. All carers' home situations are different. It's important that the type of fostering you do fits with your own circumstances.

Short-term (temporary) fostering

Short-term foster carers look after children for periods anything from a few hours, days or months up to two years. After short-term care these children might return to their birth family or extended family. They may move to a permanent placement, either through long-term fostering or adoption.

Long term (permanent) fostering

Long-term foster carers support children and young people all the way to adulthood and sometimes beyond. As a local authority we always strive for children and young people to be cared for by their own families but there are times where this is not possible. Long-term fostering usually allows children to keep in contact with their birth family.

Short break (respite) fostering

'Short break', 'respite' or 'shared care' describe types of part-time foster care. Respite care gives parents, children or full-time foster carers a break. This could be during a holiday or when carers can't fulfil their roles for personal reasons or could be arranged regular respite care.

Home from home foster care

Foster carers can give disabled children regular short breaks with another family. The children can enjoy new activities and build new relationships. Their parents have a chance to spend time with their other children or to relax. Some carers look after children one weekend each month. Others spend as much time with the children as their parents do as part of a 'shared care' arrangement.

Parent and child foster care

Sometimes, foster carers support young parents to care for their baby or young child. The parents and child will live in the foster carer's home. The foster carers guide and encourage but do not take over parental responsibilities. This helps new parents to build their confidence and develop their parenting skills.

Kinship (connected) carers

If a child cannot live with their own parent or parents a family member or close friend can look after them. These are 'kinship' or 'connected' carers. Our kinship carers page has more information on fostering as a connected carer.


Could you foster a teenager?

Teenage years can be difficult for anyone. This is particularly true for a child who has experienced a challenging upbringing. This is a critical stage in the lives of our children. With the right support, you can have a huge and positive impact on the child's life.

Fostering a teenager

Could you foster brothers and sisters?

Whatever the reason children need foster care, it is a difficult process for them. They will have to adjust to huge changes in their lives including being away from their birth family. This can be particularly difficult when separated from their brothers or sisters.

Fostering siblings

Could you foster a child seeking asylum?

Many displaced, refugee and asylum-seeking children need urgent care. A safe home and a family can help them settle into their new life in Gateshead. You can help them by fostering or another arrangement, such as supported lodgings.

Fostering an asylum-seeking child

Your story starts here

The first step to becoming a Foster Carer in Gateshead is to fill out our fostering enquiry form. A member of the fostering team will then contact you to gather some further details.

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