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What is fostering?

Different types of fostering

Every child in our care is as unique as you are. Every child has a different family situation and therefore each child needs a different type of care. We strive to always place children with carers who best suit their individual needs.

Our social workers will discuss this with you in detail to help you to decide what type of fostering may be best for you, your family and your lifestyle.

'Fostering' means looking after somebody else's child in your own home on a short-term or long-term basis.

Foster carers in St Helens undergo a fostering assessment, and are provided with a support package including pre-approval and ongoing training; all the equipment needed to care for a child; a dedicated social worker and financial allowances.

Specialist foster care

A specialist type of foster care that helps support children and young people who may have dealt with trauma, abuse or any other kind of severe disruption prior to being placed into foster care. You will receive extensive training and exceptional support along with a weekly fee and allowance of £820. 

Short-term foster care

This is care for children for a relatively short-period of time, anything from just one night, up to 18 months, for a child aged 0-18. These placements can sometimes be made in an emergency when it is not considered safe for the child to return home.

Long-term foster care

Long-term care is for children who will not be returning to their birth families. Often, long-term carers care for a child until adulthood when they are able to live independently. Long-term fostering is usually for children aged seven and above.

Short Break care

Is care for children with disabilities who require respite on a regular basis, overnight, for a weekend, or during school holidays.

We are also always especially keen to hear from people who have the skills, or would like to develop the skills, to care for a child with disabilities on a full-time basis.

Visit our Short-Break care page for more information.

Private foster care

Private fostering is the term used when a parent or primary carer places a child under the age of 16 (or 18, if disabled) in the care of someone else, who is not a close relative or officially approved foster carer, for a period of more than 28 days.

Part time foster care

If you work full time, and have considered fostering, part time fostering could be for you. Short term placements which work around your schedule.