Call us on 0800 917 0925 or email us for more information about fostering.

There are different types of fostering as children in care have varying situations and needs. Throughout the assessment process we'll discuss which type of fostering may best suit you.

Long-term fostering

Not all children in care will return to their own families so we need to find them a permanent home. In some cases this will be through adoption but for other children a long term foster home is a better option.

Short-term fostering

Carers look after children for a few weeks, months or even years whilst more permanent arrangements are made for them.

Specialist fostering

We need patient, dedicated and motivated specialist foster carers who can offer care and support to children and young people with very complex needs or challenging behaviour. 

Contact us if you:

  • are available full-time and can be at short notice
  • have a spare room
  • ideally, have no other children in the household
  • can offer a structured and supportive environment
  • have the ability to understand how trauma can affect a child's emotional health and behaviour
  • can work as part of a team which includes therapists, social workers, youth offending teams and other services for children and young people
  • want to learn, develop and be an active member of the team


We offer up to £619 a week and training. You'll have 24/7 support, respite breaks, a dedicated supervising social worker and access to a specialist foster carer support group.

Private fostering

Private Fostering is when a child under the age of 16 (or 18 if they have a disability) is living away from their parents for a period of 28 days or more with someone who is not an immediate relative (such as grandparents, aunt/uncles or brothers/sisters) or someone who has legal parental responsibility for them. 

Parents and/or carers are required to notify Hertfordshire County Council of these private arrangements.  For more information see our Private Fostering Leaflets:

Adult's Guide to Private Fostering

Young Person and Child’s Guide to Private Fostering

Supported lodgings

The supported lodgings scheme has been set up to provide semi-independent accommodation for young people aged between 16 and 20 who are looked after by Hertfordshire County Council. The main aim of supported lodgings is to provide a safe and supported setting to help young people make a successful transition from public care to independent living.

Who can offer supported lodgings?

Being a supported lodgings carer offers a variety of rewards and often provides a sense of satisfaction knowing that you have helped a young person make a successful start in life. It can also be a challenge. Having a flexible approach, a sense of humour and an understanding of young people will help with the challenge.

See our Supported lodgings leaflet for information.

Shared care

Shared carers are trained volunteers who've been assessed and checked to care for disabled children. They give parents a break by looking after a disabled child or young person for short breaks on a regular basis.

Visits can be anything from a few hours a week after school, a day at the weekends or in the school holidays or even a regular weekend stay. As a shared carer, you can look after children in your own home or at the child's home. You can also take them out and about. You'll be paid an allowance to cover expenses and are covered by insurance.

Call the shared care team on 01442 453 080 for more information.

Qualities of a shared carer

You need understanding, common sense, flexibility, reliability and an interest in children. You must be over 21 years of age. You can be single, in a couple, or volunteer as a family. Previous experience or contact with disabled children isn’t always necessary as we give full training.

Shared carer preparation courses and assessment

We run courses where you can learn about the scheme and ask questions. When you've completed the course we will start the assessment.

We'll assess you to find out about your motivation, interests and suitability. The assessment includes:

  • visits to 2 referees for a personal reference
  • medical and police checks.

Following an assessment, both families are carefully matched and introduced to each other so that the best possible arrangements for each child can be worked out.

The needs of the children are carefully matched to the skills, interests and background of the shared carer so that the best possible relationship can develop.

Unaccompanied asylum seekers

This group of young people are usually teenagers who have experienced separation from their families. They are often vulnerable and have witnessed or experienced traumatic events in their past. They need safe, stable homes with foster carers in Hertfordshire who understand their specific needs and are able to promote their cultural & ethnic heritage.

Contact us

Call us on 0800 917 0925 or email us for more information about fostering.