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.

Short-term fostering

Short-term foster carers are needed to look after children in a variety of situations. This could be for an overnight or weekend stay in an emergency whilst arrangements are made to ensure the child’s safety. However, short-term carers usually provide care for longer periods, which could be a few weeks, months or sometimes up to 2 years. 

They often provide care for children when support is being provided and assessments are being undertaken with families, to help decide what permanent arrangements are best for the child. Carers will also need to support children to regularly attend contact sessions with their birth families to promote relationships whilst decisions are being made.

Hertfordshire Emergency Foster Carers hub (PDF 4.18MB)

Long-term fostering

Not all children in care will be able to return to their own families so we need to find them a permanent home, where they have the option to stay until they are able to live independently. In some cases, particularly for younger children, permanent homes will be found through adoption. 

However, for other children a long-term foster home is a preferred option, usually where children are 7 years and above and when they have an established relationship and identity with their birth families.  Long-term carers will support the child to attend contact sessions with family members, usually between 4-6 times a year.

Sleepover short breaks

We need carers who can offer weekend breaks to older children, to support their long-term placements. Having some regular time and space away can be beneficial for both children and carers, improving relationships and sustaining fragile placements. This valuable service may suit people who are unable to commit to full-time fostering. We welcome enquiries from people able to offer short breaks for at least one weekend a month or during school holidays.

Trauma Focused 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. Specialist fostering may suit you best if you:

  • are available full time and can be at short notice
  • have a spare room in your home
  • have at least 2 years' experience working with children or vulnerable adults
  • ideally, have no other children in your household
  • can offer a structured and supportive environment, providing empathy, warmth and understanding
  • 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 your skills and be an active member of the team of professionals.

Training, pay and support

We offer up to £642 a week and excellent training in the Attachment, Regulation and Competency (ARC) model. This model helps carers understand the impact of trauma and attachment difficulties on children and young people. This training will also give you support in developing positive strategies to support the complex emotional needs of children requiring specialist fostering placements. 

As an ARC Specialist foster carer, you'll have 24/7 support, respite breaks, a dedicated supervising social worker and access to a specialist foster carer support group.

Separated Migrant Children

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 and ethnic heritage.

Intensive fostering

Intensive foster carers provide safe and nurturing homes for children or young people with complex and exceptional needs. They provide specialist care for children who would otherwise be cared for in residential children’s homes.

Carers are given therapeutic parenting training to provide them with the right skills. They are paid £65,000 including allowances.

Both the carers and children receive ongoing support from a dedicated team of outreach workers, a fostering senior practitioner and a therapeutic parenting practitioner. There will also be support from other foster carers and regular breaks depending on need.

To become an Intensive foster carer you:

  • may already have some of the skills needed if you already work with children and young people. You could be a nurse, a carer, a health worker or serve in the emergency services.
  • need to be compassionate and accepting.
  • need to be flexible in your parenting skills and life.


Contact us

If you'd like to find out more, get in touch with our fostering recruitment team on:

0800 917 0925 or email us