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Understanding the different types of foster care

Posted: Thursday 2nd July 2020

Mum in apron with two smiling young girls whilst mixing ingredients

We recently heard some worrying stats from Barnardo's about the increased need for foster carers.

Nationally, the number of children needing foster care has risen by 44% during the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, the number of people looking to become foster carers has fallen by almost half over the same period.

In Blackpool, we need foster carers to offer support to our local children more than ever.

During the coronavirus pandemic, the number of children and teenagers in need of foster care has increased. We need to continue to recruit foster carers in Blackpool.  

Whilst we know that coronavirus has caused plans to be put on hold for many people, others are feeling reflective and are looking to make a change now that lockdown restrictions are being lifted.

Fostering is not a one-size-fits-all. Our foster carers come from all backgrounds and bring a wide range of life and work experiences. 

There are many different types of foster care available to suit both the needs of the individual child and what skills and experience you have, as well as what would suit you and your family best.

Types of fostering

There are a number of different reasons why children need fostering. Some children and young people may come into foster care for a short period of time, for an example, if their parent has to go into hospital for an operation and there is no one else to care for the child.

In other cases, a child or young person may have experienced some form of neglect and might need to be fostered for much longer.

It is important to explore which type of fostering will be most suited to you and your family.


When carers look after children for a few weeks or months, while plans are made for the child’s future. Short-term foster carers provide a temporary place to stay until the child can return home to their own family or a longer-term fostering placement or adoption arrangement can be made.


Not all children who need to permanently live away from their birth family want to be adopted, so instead they go into long-term foster care until they are adults. Long-term fostering allows children and young people to stay in a family where they can feel secure, often while maintaining contact with their birth family.

Connected carers

A child who is the responsibility of Blackpool Council goes to live with someone they already know, which usually means family members such as grandparents, aunts and uncles or their brother or sister.

Parent and child

This involves providing a placement for a parent and their child (usually a baby). You will support the parent to develop skills in caring for their child.

Foster placements can last for days, months or even years. Some children return home to their families, but others may remain in foster care throughout their childhood and require support into adulthood.

We promote continuing care for children and are looking for foster carers who can provide children with a sense of security, commitment and continuity for as long as they need it.

Get in touch

We will help you prepare for all of the different types of fostering, so that you can find out which kind of placement would be the best for you.

If you’re considering becoming a foster carer, get in touch and we can discuss your options.

By fostering with Blackpool Council, you’ll be supported every step of the way. Call us on 01253 477888 or email